Alaskan Kikkan Randall wins Olympic Gold!

US Wins First Cross-Country Gold Ever

Jessie Diggins, 27, and Kikkan Randall, 35, won gold in this event at the world championships in 2013, the first Americans to do so.

The United States has won its first Olympic gold medal in women's cross-country skiing.

Diggins and Randall are the first American women cross-country skiers to win an Olympic medal and join Bill Koch as the only American cross-country skiers to earn an Olympic medal. Norway's Marit Bjoergen and Maiken Caspersen Falla took bronze, coming across the finish line in 2.97 seconds back from the Americans.

Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins jumped on the podium and didn't even wait to be presented with their miniature mascots before running stage left and right to warmly embrace their Swedish and Norwegian rivals in the silver and bronze positions, respectively. The two American women won a cross-country skiing world championship gold medal in the team sprint.

It was a fitting race for two gritty and strong racers whose lives and careers have always been lived in parallel - from making their debuts in Salt Lake City, to having children within months of each other around two years ago.

Jessie Diggins skied the last leg for the Americans and, coming up on the last curve of the race, she slips between Norway and up alongside Sweden's Stina Nilsson. "In the final stretch, I was just thinking, 'Go, go, go". Bjorgen, 37, now sits alone as the most decorated Winter Olympic.

In that story, which ran at the start of the Pyeongchang Games, Diggins told Russell, "We definitely have a chance at a medal".

U.S. biathlete Lowell Bailey is a graduate of the University of Vermont. NBC
U.S. biathlete Lowell Bailey is a graduate of the University of Vermont. NBC

"Both of us have been very nervous today and I did not sleep good today also". Except this time Diggins was the anchor, not Randall. Randall fell on the snow to hug her.

Four years ago, Randall came into Sochi as the gold medal favorite in the individual sprint - and failed to advance out of the quarterfinals by.05 seconds.

"It's what I've been working on for 20 years and with this team for the last five years". "What really kept me going over the last four years was trying to contribute toward a team medal".

Falla claimed it was her childhood dream to race in the same team as Bjørgen.

Women's cross country has been an Olympic sport for 66 years.

Norway's victory secured a third gold medal of Pyeongchang 2018 for Klaebo, who also tasted victory in the sprint classic and 4x10km relay.

That winter, she burst onto the national scene on a cloudy day in Rumford, Maine, when she won the national sprint title.

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