Jessie Diggins, Kikkan Randall win historic cross-country gold for Team USA

Hope Soto
February 22, 2018

Americans Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall, the only mom athlete on Team USA, made history on Wednesday by winning gold in the women's team sprint cross-country event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Diggins has won more world championship medals than any USA cross-country skier in history, and Randall is a veteran who returned the US team to relevance after it had languished short of the medal podium for years.

Afton's Jessie Diggins smiles after finishing second in the first semifinal of the women's cross-country skiing sprint classic at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018.

They did it in thrilling fashion, too.

"Around that final corner I felt like I was coiling a spring and letting it go, digging as deep as I could and putting it out there, because when you're team is counting on you, you don't give up - ever", a delighted Diggins told reporters.

After Diggins reached out her foot to cross the line ahead of Nilsson, she fell to the ground and was tackled by Randall, which she called the most unbelievable feeling in the world.

Kikkan Randall
The American pair’s win was one of the highlights of the Games

The 35-year-old was given a place in the relay team ahead of younger prospects, and she used all her experience to keep cool under pressure.

Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins celebrate after winning gold. Koch's silver came 42 years ago at the Innsbruck Games. She won two medals - a silver and a bronze - at the 2017 world championships.

Then it was a matter of putting all of her own energy into the finish - and Diggins said that when she saw Randall at the finish line, "I was so excited and so happy, and also I couldn't feel my legs". "I am in the best shape of my life right now".

Watch Jessie Diggins' fantastic finish as Team USA wins a historic cross-country gold.

The race was the fifth of these Olympics for Diggins, 26.

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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