losangelesnewstoday.com March 19, 2018

Jessie Diggins bringing home cross-country skiing gold

22 February 2018, 12:44 | Stacy Ballard

Getty Images

Getty Images

Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins broke a 42-year Olympic drought for the U.S. in cross country skiing with the pair winning gold in the women's team sprint freestyle in Pyeongchang.

Diggins, in an incredible run, came from the third position on the final lap to pass Norway's Maiken Caspersen Falla on the last big downhill and Sweden's Stina Nilsson on the final sprint to win by less than two-tenths of a second. Diggins screamed as she crossed the finish line, setting off a huge celebration for the red, white and blue.

Well set up by teammate Charlotte Kalla, Sweden's Nilsson and Norway's Falla clashed as they approached the stadium for the final time, and skis touched again as Diggins sought a lane from which to make her push for glory.

Randall and Diggins join Bill Koch as the only American skiers to win cross-country Olympic medals.

The Americans held the fastest time in the semifinals, allowing them to start on the front row for the finale. Bjoergen now has won 14 career medals at the Winter Olympic Games, passing Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjourndalen for the most ever.

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They had previously teamed up in 2013, when they won the world championship in the team sprint event. "I'm very, very happy for Jessie and Kikkan today taking a gold medal", Bjorgen said.

However, she admitted to an attack of nerves as her 26-year-old partner headed for the final straight.

And Randall says their big win still doesn't feel real. She is also one of the first women to compete in five Olympics, along with Kelly Clark, who is also in Pyeongchang.

As we mentioned in our profile of the U.S. Olympic team, Randall is the only mother on Team USA.

Randall, right, is also a mom.

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