One of Jessie’s first memories is riding in her dad’s backpack as he was cross country skiing in her hometown of Afton, Minnesota. She would sing, pull his hair, and yell “Mush!” when she wanted
to go faster.
Growing up, Jessie participated in a variety of sports, but the people and culture drew her into competitive cross-country skiing. In 2018, she and her teammate became the first athletes to win gold in cross-country skiing for Team USA.
As an Olympic athlete, Jessie—like many others—is under an enormous amount of stress. To combat her pre-race nerves, she spreads biodegradable glitter on her cheeks as a reminder to retain that element of fun, joy, and passion. “It’s this promise that I’m going to go out there and I’m going to smile at the start and remember why I’m here, why I love to do this.”
Success for me is not defined by a medal. It’s really about looking back and knowing without a shred of doubt I did everything I could and went as hard as I could.
Skiing is my passion, but my purpose is empowering people to take climate change seriously and feel like they have a role to play.
When Jessie isn’t pursuing her passion on the slopes, she’s living her purpose by bringing awareness to the importance of sustainability and encouraging conversations around climate change. As she trains and competes more and more often on artificial snow, she’s constantly reminded to take whatever helpful sustainable steps she can every day—while encouraging those around her to do the same.