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Jessie Diggins Makes History With Team USA’s First Women’s Long Distance Podium Finish In Norway

By Karen Price | March 11, 2018, 10:25 a.m. (ET)

Jessie Diggins celebrates as she crosses the line to win gold during the cross-country women's team sprint free final at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 21, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. 


Jessie Diggins still isn’t done establishing firsts for American women in cross-country skiing.

After she and teammate Kikkan Randall won the United States’ first Olympic gold medal in cross-country, winning the team sprint last month in PyeongChang, Diggins on Sunday got a second-place finish in the world cup 30-kilometer freestyle in Holmenkollen, Norway.

It was the first-ever podium finish by an American woman in a long distance world cup race. 

The 26-year-old from Afton, Minnesota nearly had herself the top spot on the podium as well. She was in the lead with under 2K to go, and had been since about midway through the race, jockeying with Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla and Norway’s Ragnhild Haga in the lead pack.

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In the final 2K, however, Norway’s Marit Bjoergen started her charge and coming down the final stretch she passed the lead group, leaving the trio to battle for the final podium spots. Bjoergen, the most decorated winter Olympian ever, won with a time of 1:18:12.4. Diggins crossed in 1:18:16.0 and Haga was third in 1:18:16.7. Kalla finished in 1:18:16.8.

Diggins also had the best-ever finish by an American in the Olympics in the 30K — classic or freestyle — in PyeongChang, coming in seventh in the classic-style race.

Earlier this week, Diggins was third in the sprint classic in Drammen, Norway, for her first podium finish in a sprint classic race.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Jessie Diggins

Cross-Country Skiing