Bronze at Worlds “A Dream Come True” for Waltham Native

by Chris Wangler

March 8, 2023

2022 Olympian Julia Kern [left in photo] and her teammate Jessie Diggins earned team sprint bronze at the cross country world championships in Europe last week.  


The pair, best friends and training partners for 8 years, beat out the fourth place German team at the 2023 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Planica, Slovenia.

Their medal was the first U.S. cross country skiing medal at worlds since 2017.


“It was a dream come true to earn my first-ever World Championships medal last week with Jessie in the team sprint!” said Julia, a Waltham native who trains in Stratton, Vermont.

This has been a big goal of mine and is a good stepping stone in preparation for the 2026 Olympics.” 


Julia, 25, grew up in Cedarwood, the daughter of active German parents who moved to Waltham when she was 1.


“Racing and winning with your best friend and teammate is double sweet,” said Julia’s mom Doro, the head of the biochemistry department at Brandeis. “Gunter and I are so thankful that we could cheer them on live in Planica.”

Planica is where Julia earned her first podium in 2019, opening the door to Olympic team qualification in 2022.

Julia's teammate Jessie is the most decorated cross country skier in U.S. history. After shining in Beijing, she set another milestone in Planica after becoming the first U.S. cross country skier to win an individual world title.

John Lazenby photos