Olympics first: Team USA wins historic medal in cross-country skiing

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

Faced with the awesome sprinting power of Norway's Marit Bjoergen, now the most successful winter Olympian in history, and Swedish snow queen Charlotte Kalla, Randall held her own to tee up Diggins for the decisive final lap.

In her last Olympics, Kikkan Randall and her teammates pulled off a stunning upset to bring home Olympic Gold in the women's team sprint race.

The medal is the first for a U.S. Olympic cross-country team since Vermont's Bill Koch won a silver in 1976.

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"I can't believe it just happened", Diggins said. She also gave birth to her son, Breck, in April 2016. She told reporters after the race, "It's what I've been working on for 20 years and with this team for the last five years and wow".

A 42-year drought was over, and they wanted to share their joy with everyone.

Diggins, age 26, has plenty of skiing left, as her career is still in its relative infancy. "That feeling of being able to cross the line and having Kikkan tackle me was the coolest thing ever", she added. 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. But she redeemed herself Wednesday with a strong finish, surpassing her Norwegian competitors at the very end to clench the gold medal. She took gold in the women's 4x5-kilometer relay, silver in the 15-kilometer skiathlon and bronze in the 10-kilometer freestyle.

  • Tabitha Byrd