As the Pyeongchang Olympics close out a 17-day run Sunday, Minnesota athletes have collected three gold medals and a bronze... The count included unprecedented golds by cross-country skier Jessie Diggins of Afton and curling skip John Shuster, a Chisholm native. The U.S. never had won a gold medal in either sport and had only one medal of any color in each.
The U.S. women’s hockey team, whose eight Minnesota-linked players include seven natives, beat Canada to win its first Olympic gold medal in 20 years. Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn — who still lists Buck Hill Ski Team as her home club, along with the slightly more glamorous Ski & Snowboard Club Vail — earned bronze in the downhill, in what is likely to be her final Olympics...Minnesota, with 5.5 million people, put 22 natives or residents on the U.S. team and earned a third of the country’s golds...
And the New York Times:
That Minnesotans are leading American success in these sports should not be surprising. Minnesota produces more girls and women hockey players than any other state by far, according to U.S.A. Hockey, and the second-most curlers after Wisconsin, per U.S.A. Curling. And Minnesota, with a thriving cross-country community, is one of the few states where Nordic skiing is a varsity sport...The women’s hockey victory likewise thrilled folks in Warroad, a town of about 1,700 that has put eight hockey players on Olympic teams since 1960, including Gigi Marvin on the last three women’s teams. All but T.J. Oshie, in 2014, brought home medals. (Oshie can be forgiven; his four goals on six shots in an opening-round shootout against Russia still inspires awe.)
My old high school now offers Nordic skiing and Alpine skiing as winter sports options. In my era you had to choose either basketball, ice hockey, or wrestling (I see the latter is not available nowadays, replaced by... yoga).
It has been said that no state's residents brag more about the accomplishment of their fellow residents than Minnesotans do. That's why I was required to write this post.