Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall made U.S. Olympic history with their cross-country skiing gold. 

By Chris Chavez
February 21, 2018

The United States pair of Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins made U.S. Olympic history by winning gold in the women's team sprint freestyle race, ending a medal drought dating back to 1976. The last cross country skier to finish on the podium was Bill Koch, whose silver came more than 15,000 days ago, at the Innsbruck Games.

In the sprint freestyle race, two skiers alternate skiing three legs of a 1.25 kilometer course. There is not much recovery time for the teams that manage to advance to the final. 

Randall, the only Olympic mom on the entire U.S. Olympic team, at last got her moment in the final event of her fifth, and likely last, Olympics. She had never finished higher than sixth in 18 events at the Olympics; Diggins hadn't medaled in her four other Olympic events and missed a medal by just 3.3 seconds in the 10-kilometer freestyle last week. 

“Oh my gosh did we just win the Olympics?” Randall recalls Diggins saying.

Randall and Diggins are no strangers to success, as they won a gold medal at the 2013 world championships in the women's team sprint. They are coming off a year in which they each won individual medals at the 2017 world championships, with Diggin and Randall going silver and bronze in the sprint. Diggins also has a bronze medal from last year's worlds in the women's team sprint, when she was paired with Sadie Bjornsen. 

Sweden's Charlotte Kalla and Stina Nilsson finished second for silver. Norway rounded out the podium for bronze.

Here's a rundown of biggest stories from the past 24 hours:

- Lindsey Vonn became the oldest woman to medal in the downhill when she took bronze in one of the most highly anticipated Olympic races. Italy's Sofia Goggia and Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel took gold and silver. We will see Vonn compete one last time individually in the combined on Thursday. 

- 15-year-old Alina Zagitova of Russia is ahead of her 18-year-old compatriot Evegenia Medvedeva after the single skating short program, and looks like the fight for gold in the free program will be just the duel that many expected to take place. It was not a good night for the U.S., with Bradie Tennell and Mirai Nagasu falling in their routines (Nagasu did not land the triple axel this time around), and Karen Chen putting her hands on the ice to avoid hitting the ice. Nagasu, Chen and Tennell finished 9th, 10th and 11th, respectively. 

- The United States men's hockey team is leaving PyeongChang without a medal. The Americans fell to the Czech Republic in a penalty shootout in the quarterfinals. 

- Red Gerard, Kyle Mack and Chris Corning all qualified for the finals of the men's big air.

Must Watch Events (All times ET)

Alpine skiing (Starts at 8:15 p.m.)

Austria’s Marcel Hirscher go for his third gold medal​ of these Olympics during the men's slalom. He has already won golds in the Alpine combined and giant slalom in PyeongChang. He won a silver medal in this event at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

Men’s freestyle skiing (Starts at 9:30 p.m.)

The U.S. could have a shot at sweeping the medals in the ski halfpipe after going 1-2-3 in the qualifiers with Aaron Blunck, Alex Ferreira and Torin Yater-Wallace. They are all from Colorado and grew up within 40 miles of each other.

Women's hockey (Starts at 11 p.m.)

The medals are on the line! The U.S. and Canada meet once again for the gold medal game. Canada has won gold in the past four Olympics. The United States is seeking its first gold since 1998.

Daily Reading and Videos

Sean Gregory on the aforementioned shocking upset to win the United States' first-ever gold medal in cross-country skiing.

Alice Park on the Russian teens that dominated the figure skating short program.

Daniel Rappaport on how snowboarder A.J. Muss overcame a near death experience to reach the Olympics

Michael Rosenberg on the Americans becoming lovable underdogs without NHL players but falling short.

Tim Layden on Lindsey Vonn honoring her late grandfather by claiming the downhill bronze medal.

Athlete to Root For

The United States has a legit chance at a podium sweep in the halfpipe so it should be quite the show since Wise, Ferreira and Yater-Wallace swept the podium at the X Games in Aspen.

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