USA Wins First Ever Olympic Medal in Women's Cross Country -- Gold!

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But it's also especially sweet that it's shared by Randall - the catalyst for America's unprecedented success in women's cross-country skiing - and Diggins, who as a junior racer stood in line to get her autograph. That broke her tie with Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen for the most medals at the Winter Olympics.

She did, then handed off to Jessica Diggins on the final lap.

A freelance writer based in Vermont, Peggy Shinn has covered four Olympic Games, PyeongChang is her fifth.

"It's what I've been working on for 20 years and with this team for the last five years. It's just so fun to put it together".

Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall took first place in the women's freestyle team sprint.

Bill Koch, who won a silver medal at the 1976 Innsbruck Games, is the only other American to medal in the event. And he said the entire American women's cross-country team came out to practice on Tuesday morning with Diggins and Randall. "And I think Kikkan and Jess felt that (support) on the course". "It was really hard to select the team today".

"I remember Kikkan having to walk out of the [media] mix zone after her quarter with tears in her eyes", recalls Sophie Caldwell, who was in her first season with the team and surprised many by qualifying for the sprint final herself. They won the first-ever Olympic medal for the USA women's cross-country skiing team - and it was a gold one. Besides, they were too busy being congratulated by other teams - the Swedes, the Norwegians, and big hugs from the Russians.

In the equivalent men's event, Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo came out on top in 15:56.26.

Falla's bronze was her second of these Olympics. Norway picked up the bronze medal.

"It is an incredible feeling to finish first here", Klæbo said.

"I am very proud of our performance, I was really digging deep today to get the power over the last 100 metres, but today US was too strong, and I really think they deserve the gold medal", Nilsson said.

Sundby, part of Norway's 4x10km relay team and was the silver medallist in the 15km + 15km skiathlon here, claimed his team-mate inspired him.

This moment has been one in the making, especially with the women.

"But for sure he has taken cross-country skiing to another level".

BC-OLY-XXC-American History, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 857 Drought over: U.S. women win 1st Olympic cross-country medalAP Photo OLYCC117, OLYCC116, OLYCC115, OLYCC114, OLYCC105, OLYCC148, OLYCC, OLYCC124, OLYCC123, OLYCC128, OLYCC129Eds: Adds hyperlinks.

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