Campaign Updates

Meet Jessie Diggins, Olympic Gold Medalist cross-country skier and keynote speaker of our gala

Jan 19, 2024
Save the Boundary Waters
Jessie Digins

Our Save the Boundary Waters annual Boundary Waters Gala is moving to the spring and will be on Thursday, May 2nd at the Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis. We are thrilled that this year's keynote speaker will be Minnesota’s own Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion cross-country skier Jessie Diggins! 


But who exactly is Jessie Diggins and why is she speaking at our Boundary Waters Gala?

From Afton, MN, Cross-country skier and environmental activist Jessie Diggins became the first-ever Olympic Gold Medalist for Team USA’s Women’s Cross-Country Team for her historic win at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Jessie is the first American to win the prestigious Tour de Ski stage race, the World Cup Overall Championship and the World Cup Distance Championship. She is now a 14x World Cup winner, 6x World Championship medalist, 3x Olympian, 3x Olympic medalist and the reigning World Champion. As an active climate change and environmental advocate, Jesse is a Protect our Winters Board Member and member of the Athlete Alliance program to support its global cause of uniting the outdoor sports community to support bipartisan policies that protect the places we love and experiences we love from climate change. Her advocacy work also extends to organizations such as Share Winter Foundation and Save the Boundary Waters. 

Follow along this ski season @jessiediggins on Instagram

Diggins skiing Here’s why Associate Director Sam Chadwick is excited to welcome Jessie at our gala:

“I've been such a fangirl of Minnesotan and Olympian cross-country skier Jessie Diggins for years. I have done a fair amount of my own (much slower) cross-country skiing, so I’ve been aware of and following Jessie for a long time, but if you’re not as familiar, let me tell you a little more about Jessie.

Jessie is from Afton, Minnesota, and her energy for her sport and for outdoor adventure is infectious! I was lucky enough to be in touch with her occasionally over the early years of Save the Boundary Waters. When I read her book Brave Enough a couple years ago, I found, literally beginning on page one, descriptions of her childhood camping trips in the Boundary Waters and how those and other outdoor experiences in Minnesota fed her adventure spirit and were part of her path to becoming a world-class athlete. 

She writes about how physical challenges and accomplishments like portaging a canoe and skiing also give her the confidence to speak up about issues that matter, like health and body image, climate change and loss of snow-pack, and protecting wild places like the Boundary Waters Wilderness. 

I admire Jessie for many reasons, and I’m so excited she’ll be part of our 2024 Boundary Waters Gala.”

Tickets will go on sale in March but be sure to mark your calendar now for May 2. Sign up to be alerted as soon as tickets become available. This event sells out every year, so sign up now to get your tickets early!