Not everybody’s to-do list has things like making the Utah ski team and qualifying for the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships crossed off. But for Logan Diekmann, one of the newest additions to the Utah ski team, a big bold marker line runs through those words. The freshman from Bozeman, Mont., had no idea that his talent on the snow would one day lead him 6 hours away from home to a bigger city and a new home, Salt Lake City.
Growing up close to the mountains with skiing right in town meant Diekmann was bound to hit the slopes at at an early age. At five years old, he was a part of a youth ski league before joining the Bridger Ski Foundation, his club team.
“Everybody hops on skis when they’re super young,” Diekmann said. “Ever since I was eight I kind of just stuck with it and ended up here [at the University of Utah].
Family is an important part of why Diekmann has been able to reach these heights. He and his younger brother Liam, who shares the same love for the sport, were raised by parents who supported and encouraged their children to work hard.
“I’m super thankful that they’re so supportive and the way that they were,” Diekmann expressed. “There are a lot of parents that can push too hard or not push enough. I think there’s definitely a good balance there.”
As kids, the brothers were taught the importance of getting involved and being active outside. They were taught to save up their own money for things like video games, but they were told that their parents would buy them any sport equipment they wanted. With that being said, Alex and Lisa Diekmann bought their sons the necessary equipment needed so the two could begin Nordic skiing.
“They were our original sponsors, I guess you could say,” Diekmann said.
Fast forward to 2015, the easily motivated, straight A student and valedictorian of Bozeman High School decided that the sport he fell in love with as a kid wasn’t something he wanted to say goodbye to. He decided to take a year off of school after graduating to focus heavily on skiing with BSF. He was hoping to qualify for the World Juniors trip last season, but that was put to the side when last February his father passed away after losing a battle to cancer.
Diekmann’s father, a former Yale varsity swimmer, believed that “collegiate athletics were the way to go. If you’re in a sport in college, you have this tight friend group right away, you’re focused on something other than just school and it takes up time.”
Diekmann was influenced by his father’s words. Looking for a university where he could excel not just on the slopes, but in an engineering program as well, Diekmann felt like Utah was the answer.
“Knowing that I’m here and this was one of my big goals, I know that [my dad] would be happy about all of this,” Diekmann said. “I mean everything that I’ve done this year is huge and definitely a big step to where I want to go with my skiing career.”
Diekmann’s strong work ethic has helped him to stay focused while chasing his goals.
“I was a little concerned about him at the beginning of the year cause he’s the youngest guy on the team by a few years, which is a extra challenge for him,” said head Nordic coach Abi Holt. “But he’s done a great job managing the training and fitting in with the team. He’s done a great job all around.”
With his head held high and the same goal to qualify for the World Juniors at the top of his list this season, Diekmann knew he had a shot.
“I’ve known for a while now that this is what I wanted, and I knew that coming here with the team that I would be on that this was definitely something that was in reach this year.”
Diekmann’s years of practice and training that helped him make the Utah ski team have presented him with the opportunity to represent the United States as a member of the World Junior team beginning Jan. 30.
“I know this has been a goal of his for a long time and the spots this year were kind of extra coveted because the World Junior Championships haven’t been hosted by the U.S. forever,” Holt said. “All the Americans wanted a spot on that team this year so for him to get it in a very coveted field was a big deal. It just shows all of his hard work and training has paid off.”
Accomplishing goals and turning dreams into reality requires more than just the desire to want to succeed. It requires the pouring in of constant hard work and effort. No matter the distance, or the rough slopes for that matter, there’s no road block that will stand in Diekmann’s way.
“Even if you’re not the smartest or most talented individual, if you work hard enough at something, it’s going to happen,” Diekmann said.