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Cross-Country Skier Sadie Bjornsen Starts Olympic Season With Best Individual Finish Ever

By Gary R. Blockus | Nov. 24, 2017, 11:32 a.m. (ET)

Sadie Bjornsen poses for a portrait at the Team USA Media Summit on Sept. 27, 2017 in Park City, Utah.


U.S. Olympian Sadie Bjornsen rose to the podium to kick off the cross-country skiing world cup season by finishing second in the women’s classic sprint on Friday in Ruka, Finland.

The second-place finish is the best individual world cup or world championships finish for Bjornsen, who turned 28 on Nov. 21. The Winthrop, Washington, is coming off her most successful run at the world championships, where she made her first podium with a bronze medal in the team sprint classic with Jessie Diggins.

Bjornsen, a 2014 Olympian who skis out of the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center, finished 10th in a three-day mini tour last March in Quebec City, the best finish for a U.S. woman.

This is Bjornsen’s sixth’s world cup podium, but just her second individual. She finished third in a 5-kilometer freestyle in January 2017 in Toblach, Italy.

In Ruka, she was second with a time of 3:17.86, just behind winner Stina Nilsson of Sweden, who won in 3:17.62. Russia’s Yulia Belorukova was third in 3:18.53.

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Bjornsen’s brother Erik Bjornsen earned the top finish for U.S. men, finishing 24th overall in the men's race.

Sadie Bjornsen qualified fifth in 3:13.67. She won her quarterfinal heat in 3:18.14 and her semifinal heat in 3:20.00. Team USA’s Sophie Caldwell finished fourth in the same semifinal heat, just missing the final.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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