Loppet Foundation

Minneapolis 2020 FIS COOP Cross Country World Cup Gains Traction with Expanded Programming, New Brand, and Support from MN-Based Fastenal

This article was posted on Thursday, January 24, 2019

Minneapolis 2020 FIS COOP Cross Country World Cup event will expand to include a music festival, spectator and citizen sporting events, and more — thanks to support from its new title sponsor, Fastenal

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA — This historic sporting event coming to Minneapolis in March of 2020 has a brand new style. Now with support from Winona, MN-based Fastenal, the Loppet Foundation and U.S. Ski & Snowboard are excited to announce Thursday that the event will encompass not just one, but four days of winter celebration and fun at Theodore Wirth Regional Park.

“This is a really special moment in time, and we’re thrilled for the world’s best cross country skiers to experience these trails that we personally cherish.” said R.T. Rybak, former Minneapolis mayor and co-chair of the event’s host committee. “That’s why we’re restructuring our world cup event into a multi-day festival celebrating all of our favorite winter sports, at our favorite winter rec venue — Wirth Park.”

The four-day Parallel 45 Winter Festival will include a music festival, extreme spectator events, panel discussions, and more — all free and open to the public. The ability for the Loppet Foundation, U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the FIS COOP Cross Country World Cup event host committee to make such dramatic adjustments to the event is possible in large part because of early support from local organizations like Explore Minnesota, and now Minnesota-based Fastenal, a worldwide distributor of industrial products. Fastenal’s CEO, Dan Florness, echoed this excitement at the press conference.

“Fastenal’s growth over the past 50 years is strongly rooted in our values of ambition, innovation, integrity, and teamwork — values that are clearly shared by the event organizers, and of course Jessie Diggins who has championed for this World Cup event. We’re excited to see her finally race on home turf and represent both Minnesota and the United States on this global stage.”

For Fastenal, having supported Jessie Diggins as a skier since long before the 2018 Olympic win, and as an international company based right in Minnesota, partnering with the Loppet Foundation and U.S. Ski & Snowboard on this event was a natural fit.

“Having Fastenal as a partner of the World Cup race is really going to elevate this event.” said John Munger, executive director of the Loppet Foundation. “With an amazing international company backing us, an incredible hometown hero representing us, and the whole U.S. cross-country community coming together alongside us, we have all of the makings for a truly incredible event.”

Jessie Diggins also expressed her excitement about this development in a recent video posted on her Instagram account. “I am so proud that my longtime partner Fastenal, an international company, is now bringing an international competition home to Minnesota so everyone can see how we do winter,” Diggins said. This excitement is of course shared with her teammates, coaches, and supporters at U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

“It is terrific to see how quickly everything in Minneapolis is coming together for the FIS COOP Cross Country World Cup event the city will host in March 2020,” said Calum Clark, Chief of Systems and Operations for U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “Today’s announcements highlight more key components which are now in place to ensure that the return of world class cross country ski racing to the USA is going to be a huge success. Not only have the Loppet Foundation secured an excellent title partner for the event in Fastenal, they have also launched an innovative, engaging event brand which will resonate well with both local cross country ski fans in Minneapolis and across Minnesota, but also with the whole cross country community in the USA and worldwide.”

Being able to race at World Cup level on U.S. soil for the first time in her career represents a historic moment in the sport of cross-country skiing for Jessie Diggins and her teammates. But Wirth Park’s viability as a world-class ski venue has been long in the making, as explained by John Edman, executive director of Explore Minnesota:

“Explore Minnesota recognizes the impact of major events such as the world cup event, and this new festival is a great opportunity to showcase not only Theodore Wirth Park but the entire state of Minnesota as a premier winter travel destination.”

The Fastenal Parallel 45 Winter Festival and world cup event will be held in mid-March 2020, with the dates being officially confirmed this spring at the FIS congress meetings in May. More information on the event will be available on the local organizing committee’s website, mnworldcup.com — or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @mnworldcup.