Beijing Olympian Comes Home

by Chris Wangler

April 19, 2022

Still beaming from the winter Olympics, cross-country skier Julia Kern (WHS ‘15) returned to Waltham for a mini homecoming tour.

First she appeared at an event at Shoppers, signing autographs and meeting with fans young and old.

Her parents, Doro and Gunther, are German immigrants and athletes themselves. They started Julia on cross country skis as a toddler and got her involved in a variety of Waltham youth sports.

Last week, Julia visited the Boys & Girls Club, a Waltham middle school and addressed students at Waltham High School.

During the winter Olympics, Julia competed in two races, finishing 18th overall in the sprint freestyle.


“This year I was top eight in the world in sprint. My next goal is to be top three in the world,” she said.

At the winter games, Julia's teammate and friend Jessie Diggins (center) solidified her reputation as the greatest U.S. cross country skier by winning two medals, including the bronze shown here from the individual sprint final.

“She’s been an incredible role model for me,” Julia said. “I’ve been able to see what it takes to win medals at the Olympics.”

Based in Vermont, Julia plans to train hard and qualify again for the Olympics in 2026.


After her talk at Waltham High School, which she graduated from in 2015, Julia met with the Waltham Weston Nordic Ski Club. The club didn't exist when Julia was a student, but they train at the golf course in Weston where Julia first honed her technique.


Shoppers photos: Peter Lobo; Olympics photos: US Ski & Snowboard