The annual welcome-home celebration for Jessie Diggins will have a little more sparkle this year because the cross-country skier from Afton returns to Minnesota with her first Olympic gold medal.
Diggins will be honored from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. April 14 at the Slumberland headquarters in Oakdale. She will present a slide show about her historic season, in which she won an Olympic gold medal with Kikkan Randall in the team sprint — the first Winter Games gold ever for the U.S. in the sport — and finished second in the World Cup overall standings.
No American woman had ever won an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing until Diggins, 26, finished the team sprint in memorable fashion, surging past Stina Nilsson of Sweden in the final meters last month in South Korea.
At the event, fans can meet Diggins, participate in a question-and-answer session and register for prizes. Chad Salmela of Duluth, whose race call for NBC was a social media sensation (“Here comes Diggins! Here comes Diggins!”), also will appear. Admission is free, and fans are encouraged to emulate Diggins’ trademark by wearing glitter.