Alaska Pacific University skier wins gold in cross-country team sprint

Diggins, who narrowly missed the podium several times this Olympics, dug deep in the final sprint to catch race leader Stina Nilsson of Sweden, and surged past her at the line to win by 0.19 seconds.

Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins combined to win the women's team sprint at the PyeongChang Winter Games.

Randall and Diggins edged out Sweden and Norway to capture the historic gold in a blazing time of 15:56.47 - 26 seconds faster than their semi-final time.

The medal is the first for a U.S. Olympic cross-country team since Vermont's Bill Koch won a silver in 1976. I got to see in 2013 when we won the world championships that a team gold is worth far more than any individual accolade, ' Randall said.

Then it was a matter of putting all of her own energy into the finish - and Diggins said that when she saw Randall at the finish line, "I was so excited and so happy, and also I couldn't feel my legs". The finals race was even closer, but the Americans prevailed. With plans firmly in place to retire and make a new home with her family after the 2018 Games, it seemed possible that Randall, 35, might see her career end without an Olympic medal.

Meanwhile, in what is likely her final Olympic downhill event, Minnesota native Lindsey Vonn will leave South Korea with a bronze medal.

'It's a dream come true for her and a dream come true for the USA cross-country skiing team, ' Diggins's mother Deb told Reuters.

  • Steve Townsend