Bjorgen makes history at Olympics

Winter Olympics: Norway’s Marit Bjorgen creates history as USA win cross country team gold
XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Full coverage times

The United States won gold in the women’s team sprint free as Marit Bjorgen became the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time.

It was the first time the US have won a cross-country skiing medal in a women’s event.

Bjorgen, who took bronze with Norway, picked up her fourth medal at these Games and now has 14 overall.

The 37-year-old has won a medal in every event she has contested in Pyeongchang.

Swedish pair Charlotte Kalla and Stina Nilsson took silver.

It was a three-way sprint going into the final stretch but American Jessica Diggins held off the challenge of Sweden’s Nilsson to win with a photo finish.

Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla followed shortly in third, ensuring her compatriot won her 14th Winter Olympic medal.

Diggins’ teammate Kikkan Randall set a new record for most events before claiming a medal at the Winters, winning gold in her 18th attempt.

“That is the race the USA have been waiting for for two or three decades,” BBC commentator Ollie Williams said. “They will be talking about this all over America.”

American duo Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins celebrate winning gold

BBC Sport’s Rob Walker added: “This is huge for the sport in America. An amazing finish from two American women who have produced the race of their life against some of the all-time greats.

“It has been a privilege to watch.”

Bjorgen surpasses compatriot Ole Einar Bjorndalen, who won 13 medals including eight golds in biathlon, to become the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time.

She can add another medal when she competes in the 30km classical event on Sunday.

“It’s hard to understand, actually,” she said. “When you’re still an athlete you just have focus on other races. I think I’ll need to have time to myself and look behind me and look how I’ve been able to do this.”

Bjorgen’s teammate Falla said it was a “childhood dream” to race with her.

“I watched her on TV as a young girl and I wanted to ski as fast as her,” said Falla. “Now I finally got to ski on the same team as her in the Olympics as she is becoming the most-winning (Winter) Olympian.

“It’s very big for me to be in the same team as this fabulous woman.”

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