Kikkan Randall, Team USA win first-ever women's cross-country ski Olympic gold

Kikkan Randall of Anchorage with teammate Jessie Diggins of Minnesota, pictured right after...
Kikkan Randall of Anchorage with teammate Jessie Diggins of Minnesota, pictured right after their gold medal finish in Pyeongchang. (KTUU)
Published: Feb. 20, 2018 at 11:59 PM AKST
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6 a.m. Wednesday Update:

With a finish time just .19 seconds ahead of Sweden, the US women's cross-country ski team brought in gold in a near photo finish.

The gold also constitutes the first ever medal of any kind for Team USA's cross-country women's team, a career-long ambition for Kikkan Randall.

"I ran over and tackled Jessie, and she said, 'Oh my gosh, did we just win the Olympics?' And I said, 'Yeah!'" Kikkan said in a press conference following the emotional win.

Hours later, the two women followed up with the Today Show, calling the moment "amazing."

"It was this team event, this race in particular, that really motivated me to go for one more Olympics," Kikkan said. "It really pushed me through my comeback after having my son."

Teammate Jessie Diggins, who brought her toe over the finish line just ahead of her Swedish rival, explained what was going through her head during the final stretch.

"On that final lap, I just gave it everything I had," Diggins said. "It was a tactical move, and it was a little risky for sure."

The move wound up paying off in a big way, as Diggins waited on the uphill to properly position herself in the downhill, an area which she said was her strength.

The memorable moment of Olympic gold can be

NBC will show highlights from the race in its daytime Olympic coverage at 11:00 a.m. Alaska time, and in Prime time at 4:00 and 10:35 p.m.

GOLD🥇for USA🇺🇸! Congratulations to Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins on an incredible race and for making history!

Posted by APU Nordic Ski Team on Wednesday, February 21, 2018
1:20 a.m. Wednesday Update:

Anchorage's Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins win gold in the women's team sprint Wednesday.

Randall and Diggins finishing the sprint relay in 15:56.47, becoming the first American women to medal in cross-country skiing.

12:30 a.m. Wednesday Update:

Team USA’s Erik Bjornsen and Simi Hamilton took 3rd in the men's cross-country sprint relay semifinals, qualifying for the team sprint finals.

Bjornsen and Hamilton finishing the second semifinal in a time of 16:04.69.

Original Story:

Early Wednesday morning Team USA’s Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins won the women’s cross-country sprint relay semifinal, qualifying for team sprint final.

Randall and Diggins with the fastest qualifying time, winning the second semifinal in a time of 16:22.56.

Anchorage’s Jessica Yeaton competing for Australia, finishing 6th in the first semifinal, but did not qualify for the final relay.

The men’s seminal will start soon featuring Alaska Pacific University’s Erik Bjornsen, originally from Washington, but trains full-time at APU, skiing with Simi Hamilton.

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Tears of JOY! #GOLD #Olympics

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