Brave Enough by Jessie Diggins, Todd Smith
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Featured on The Thread: Skier Jessie Diggins on next week’s World Cup race – and her new memoir
Travel with Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins on her compelling journey from America’s heartland to international sports history, navigating challenges and triumphs with rugged grit and a splash of glitter
Pyeongchang, February 21, 2018. In the nerve-racking final seconds of the women’s team sprint freestyle race, Jessie Diggins dug deep. Blowing past two of the best sprinters in the world, she stretched her ski boot across the finish line and lunged straight into Olympic immortality: the first ever cross-country skiing gold medal for the United States at the Winter Games. The 26-year-old Diggins, a four-time World Championship medalist, was literally a world away from the small town of Afton, Minnesota, where she first strapped on skis. Yet, for all her history-making achievements, she had never strayed far from the scrappy 12-year-old who had insisted on portaging her own canoe through the wilderness, yelling happily under the unwieldy weight on her shoulders: “Look! I’m doing it!”
In Brave Enough, Jessie Diggins reveals the true story of her journey from the American Midwest into sports history. With candid charm and characteristic grit, she connects the dots from her free-spirited upbringing in the woods of Minnesota to racing in the bright spotlights of the Olympics. Going far beyond stories of races and ribbons, she describes the challenges and frustrations of becoming a serious athlete; learning how to push through and beyond physical and psychological limits; and the intense pressure of competing at the highest levels. She openly shares her harrowing struggle with bulimia, recounting both the adversity and how she healed from it in order to bring hope and understanding to others experiencing eating disorders.
Between thrilling accounts of moments of triumph, Diggins shows the determination it takes to get there—the struggles and disappointments, the fun and the hard work, and the importance of listening to that small, fierce voice: I can do it. I am brave enough.