Jessie Diggins

March 23rd, 2016 Webmaster Posted in News Comments Off on Jessie Diggins


Minnesota’s own Jessie Diggins started skiing, while on her father’s back in a backpack. The Diggins family has had a passion for cross country skiing most of their lives.

Jessie started out in the Minnesota Youth Ski League, then progressed to cross country ski for the Stillwater High School team. Soon after, Jessie made the US Winter Olympic Nordic Ski Team.

We congratulate Jessie on her fabulous accomplishments, of which some are listed below:

  • 2013 World Champion
  • 2015 Worlds Silver Medalist
  • Three-time Minnesota High School state champion
  • Nine Junior ski titles
  • The rest of the list
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Trails and Advocacy

January 13th, 2014 Webmaster Posted in News Comments Off on Trails and Advocacy

Minnesota has over 4000 kilometers of cross country ski trails – from rugged backcountry single-track to meticulously groomed, lighted trails. These trails are funded through private, State grant-in-aid program, State general fund, State forest funds, and community sources.

Purchase of a Minnesota Ski Pass grants access to all State Park trails and State grant-in-aid trails. Some counties and municipalities require a separate pass and private trail systems have their own fees.

The MNSA advises the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on trail development through the grant-in-aid program and advocates for facilities and trails state-wide.

For detailed information on specific trails, visit


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MNSA Seeks Board Members

November 5th, 2012 Webmaster Posted in News Comments Off on MNSA Seeks Board Members

Minnesota Nordic Ski Association Board Members

The Minnesota Nordic Ski Association (MNSA) is a 501©3 non-profit organization established in 2001 to promote cross country skiing in Minnesota.  See for more information.

MNSA is seeking board members with high-energy and knowledge of and passion for cross country skiing and who are proactive and enthusiastic.  Experience is not required.  MNSA is looking for people who are excited and passionate about growing the sport and joining together with an already accomplished group of board members.


The Board is responsible for overall policy and direction of the organization, and delegates responsibility for day-to-day operations to the officers and committees.  The board receives no compensation other than reasonable expenses, but can offer a strong mentoring relationship to an energetic self-starter as well as excellent connections and references.  Board members shall serve 3 year terms, but are eligible for re-election.

Cover Letters

Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a cover letter stating their interest.  Please submit relevant information via email to

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Bjorn to ski

March 1st, 2011 Webmaster Posted in News Comments Off on Bjorn to ski

The 2011 Minnesota Nordic Ski Association Lifetime Achievement Award will honor long-time racer, skiing advocate, and infamous leader of hill-bounding sessions, Bjorn Lasserud. Bjorn and other Minnesota skiers will receive their awards at the MNSAwards banquet on April 2nd. Click here for details and to reserve your tickets.

Selection committee chairman, Darby Nelson, spoke with Bjorn recently and offers this biographical sketch:

Bjorn Lasserud was born in Norway. As a teenager he participated in youth soccer and also did ski jumping. Surprisingly, he did not participate in cross-country skiing until he and his wife, Anne-Lise came to America. Bjorn acknowledges a drinking problem during those early years. He resolved to quit, but needed an activity to keep his mind occupied and alcohol at bay. He began running and met a man who asked him what sport he was training for. Bjorn said he wasn’t training for any sport. The man said, why don’t you ski with us? He got a pair of used skis and became acquainted with Norm Oakvik. That made all the difference.

He has gone on to become one of the most storied master skiers in Minnesota history. Bjorn’s trophies fill the walls of more than an entire room. He has excelled at every level including national master’s championships as well as international competitions, finishing second in the Norwegian Birkebeiner. He is most proud of winning the World Master’s Title.

Bjorn has made significant contributions to cross-country skiing in Minnesota. Starting about 1965, he and Norm Oakvik established training sessions at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis. Eventually the fall training group shifted to Hyland Park where seventy to eighty people began showing up. One of Lasserud’s most endearing qualities is his willingness to help beginning skiers improve. Uncountable numbers of novice skiers, struggling awkwardly down the trail, have been approached by this man with the Norwegian brogue who would ask, “Can I help you?” Bjorn is a one man ambassador drawing others into his sport. Bjorn was also heavily involved with the Minneapolis Ski Club, a cornerstone organization in the early development of cross-country skiing. Bjorn did much coaching for the club. Bjorn also helped with the Ski For Light program that brought blind skiers from Norway to Minnesota. Lasserud helped blind people learn to ski in the program for three years. Bjorn says, “Skiing has made me a better person. It is the best sport there is.” He feels helping others is his way of giving something back to the sport that has meant so much to him.

Bjorn Lasserud has been an outstanding contributor to Minnesota skiing and is a most deserving recipient of MNSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

[Editor’s note: Biographies of other recipients of the MNSA Lifetime Achievement Award will be posted in an online archive soon. – MB]

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