Team USA Makes Olympic History With Cross-Country Gold

Team USA Makes Olympic History With Cross-Country Gold

After 66 years of women’s cross-country being featured on the Olympic program, the United States won its first-ever medal.

On Wednesday, Team USA’s Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins won gold in the women’s team sprint freestyle in PyeongChang.

It was evident that Norway, Sweden, and the United States would be the three nations to reach the podium, but it wasn’t until the final stretch that Diggins came back from third to claim victory.

“I just felt unstoppable,” stated Diggins. “I am in the best shape of my life right now for sure. That feeling of crossing the line and having Kikkan tackle me was the coolest thing ever.”

Diggins and Randall clocked a time of 15.56.47, beating silver medalist Sweden by .19 seconds. Norway, which was the odds-on favorite to win the event, came in about 3 seconds later to take bronze.

In addition to the duo winning the first Olympic medal in women’s cross-country for the US, they also ended a 42-year old drought in the overall discipline.

Prior to their win, the last American cross-country skier to medal at an Olympic event was Bill Koch in 1976. Koch earned a silver medal in the men’s 30km in Austria.

The next cross-country event will be the men’s 50km mass start on Saturday, followed by the women’s 30km mass start on Sunday.

Norway’s Marit Bjørgen is the odds-on favorite to win the 30km mass start with -120 Olympic betting odds at Bovada Sportsbook. The closest American on the oddsboard is Jessica Diggins with +8000 betting odds to win the 30km event.

With only four days left in the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games, Team USA currently has 16 medals on the table. USA online sportsbooks thinks if the Americans can dominate in competitions like the Alpine combined women’s event where Mikaela Shriffin is heavily favored, and cause a few other upsets along the way, their fourth overall medal count could improve drastically.