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#pounditTuesday, August 4, 2020

Articles tagged: Jessie Diggins

Jessie Diggins, Kikkan Randall won gold medal in photo finish

Jessie Diggins Kikkan Randall

As if winning the first Olympic gold for America in cross-country skiing weren’t already thrilling enough, the tight margin by which Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall won added an extra level of drama to the matter.

Diggins chased down Sweden’s Stina Nilsson and outstretched her to cross the finish line first in the women’s team free sprint by 0.19 seconds:

Watching Diggins come from behind to overtake Nilsson was special.

“In the final stretch I was just thinking, Go, go, go, I’m giving it everything I had and I’ve got someone who I really love and care about waiting for me at the finishing line and I just want to make her proud,” Diggins said, via the New York Times.

Diggins and Randall combined for a gold medal-winning time of 15:56.47. They were 0.19 seconds ahead of Sweden and 2.97 seconds ahead of Norway’s team to win gold.

Not only was it the first Olympic gold for the U.S. in cross-country skiing, but it was the first cross-country skiing medal for the country since 1976. And while the finish wasn’t quite as tight as one we saw in speedskating, the comeback victory was one heck of a way to get it done.

10 must-watch U.S. athletes at the Winter Olympics

Mikaela Shiffrin

Though the Winter Olympics are sometimes looked at as the “little brother” of the Summer Games — there’s no basketball, track and field, or gymnastics! — the events always prove to be entertaining.

And though there’s one extra knock on the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Games — NHL players won’t be competing — it’s all but certain Americans will still find themselves glued to the action. NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Sochi Games averaged 21.4 million viewers, which is a number comparable to the viewership of an early-round NFL playoff game or a much-hyped regular season game, an impressive feat considering the Games span 17 nights.

With the competitions based around less-heralded sports such as curling, speed-skating, and snowboarding, there are always a few breakout stars. In the 2014 Sochi Games (can you believe it’s been four years?), the U.S. had T.J. Oshie, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Sage Kotsenburg — not to mention the incredible commentary of Johnny Weir.

With this year’s Games less than one month away (they’ll run Feb. 9-25), we thought some of you could use a primer on a handful of the key United States athletes who will compete in South Korea. Here are 10 home-grown athletes who will likely dominate NBC’s coverage.

1. Lindsey Vonn, Skier