PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Cross-country skier Jessie Diggins was selected to lead the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team into Sunday's Closing Ceremony as flag bearer, as announced today by the United States Olympic Committee. Diggins was chosen by a vote of fellow members of Team USA.
A two-time Olympian, Diggins made history at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 along with teammate Kikkan Randall, winning Team USA’s first-ever medal for women in cross-country skiing as the pair captured the gold medal in team sprint (freestyle). Diggins powered through the finish, outlasting the team from Sweden in a near-photo finish, winning the Olympic title by 0.19 seconds. It marked the second medal for the U.S. in cross-country skiing in Olympic history, with the first – a silver – won in 1976.
“This is such an incredible honor for me,” said Diggins. “I’m really humbled and moved that the athletes voted for me. It’s so inspiring to feel the support and cheering from everyone. The coolest thing for me about the Games has been getting to meet other athletes on Team USA, and getting to cheer them on at their events and learn about what they do. I have so much respect and admiration for everybody here and am beyond honored to be able to lead us out of these Games.”
In addition to Diggins’ gold medal-winning performance, she also posted four top-six finishes in these Games. Earlier in her career, Diggins was part of the first American team to win a world cup team sprint event, and she and Randall became the first U.S. cross-country skiers to win a world championship gold medal.
“Jessie’s breakthrough performances here in PyeongChang have been inspirational and historic, and her success is representative of years of teamwork and determination from all our athletes,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “I am proud that she has been recognized with the distinction of being our flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony. Her spirit and dedication to her sport and team members is contagious, and her influence on cross-country skiing and Team USA are remarkable.”
Diggins is the first cross-country skier to serve as Closing Ceremony flag bearer for Team USA.
U.S. Olympic Team Flag Bearers – Closing Ceremony
1960 Donald McDermott, Speedskating
1964 Jean Saubert, Alpine Skiing
1968 Tim Wood, Figure Skating
1972 Barbara Ann Cochran, Alpine Skiing
1976 Sheila Young, Speedskating
1980 Eric Heiden, Speedskating
1984 Phil Mahre, Alpine Skiing
1988 Bonnie Blair, Speedskating
1992 Bonnie Blair, Speedskating
1994 Dan Jansen, Speedskating
1998 Cammi Granato, Ice Hockey
2002 Brian Shimer, Bobsled
2006 Joey Cheek, Speedskating
2010 Bill Demong, Nordic Combined
2014 Julie Chu, Ice Hockey
2018 Jessie Diggins, Cross-Country Skiing