The American team of Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall posted the fastest time in the semi-finals to start on the front row in the finals Wednesday.
Jessica Diggins the United States crosses the finish line ahead of Stina Nilsson of Sweden in the women's team sprint freestyle cross-country final at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Randall, competing in her fifth Olympics, was on the 4×5-kilometer relay team that finished fifth.
The Americans had not celebrated a medal in cross-country since Bill Koch took silver in the 30km race in Innsbruck more than 40 years ago.
Five years ago, Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins did something that had never been done before. It is just the second Olympic cross-country medal won by an American.
Diggins, who had come agonizingly close to medaling in the 10-kilometer freestyle last week, refused to be denied this time.
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Randall and Diggins beat silver medalist Sweden by.19 seconds.
"Around that final corner I felt like I was uncoiling a spring and letting it go", Diggins said. Bjorgen, 37, now sits alone as the most decorated Winter Olympic.
Diggins' father, Clay, said he had a feeling this was the day the drought would end.
Diggins kept Randall's autograph for years - a little piece of cardboard box that she had torn off for Randall to sign, since there were no more posters left.
"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. Except this time Diggins was the anchor, not Randall. "It's what I've been working on for 20 years and with this team for the last five years and, wow, it's just so fun to put it together tonight - finally". "It was really hard to select the team today".
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NOTES: Donato's fifth goal passed his father, Ted, who scored four playing for the U.S.at the 1992 Albertville Games. Jordan Greenway and Donate are needed to execute their best in the tonight's game against Slovakia.
"It's hard to understand, actually", Bjørgen, a medallist in all four events she has contested at Pyeongchang 2018, said.
The U.S. women's cross-country skiing team has created an environment where teamwork - camaraderie, compassion and respect, among other attributes - has helped them all thrive in an individual sport in recent years.
Bjorgen and Falla secured Norway's 12th cross-country medal of these Games, and 30 minutes later, Norway got its 13th medal with its sixth cross-country gold in the men's team sprint.
The women's team sprint is a relay race.
Olympic Athlete from Russia's Denis Spitsov and Alexander Bolshunov finished second in 15:57.97.
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