A southern Vermont boy at heart, Ben Ogden is on the international stage as a Nordic skier competing with European powerhouse skiers like Joannes Klaebo from Norway and Federico Pellegrino from Italy, who have dominated the playing field for years.
Only a handful of other American male Nordic skiers have enjoyed this kind of success on the World Cup circuit since fellow Vermonter Bill Koch won silver at the 1976 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
Growing up in the Green Mountains can be different from what you might think. Unicycling to school on dirt roads, building downhill obstacle courses, and landing big-air jumps on skinny skis was part of growing up for Ogden, a 23-year-old U.S. Ski Team racer who made history in early January with the top finish by a U.S. male in the Tour de Ski as part of the 2022-23 FIS Cross-Country World Cup.
“My goal is to be the athlete who does it all,” Ogden said, while explaining why the Tour de Ski is a test of the ultimate skier. The competition included a final climb on the Alpe Cermis resort with a section that is almost 30 degrees steep in parts and considered the toughest course on the World Cup circuit. The cross-country ski competition — held in Switzerland, Germany and Italy this year — has 6-9 stages. The combined time determines the winner.