We’re one medal event into the 2018 PyeongChang Games, and already history is being made. Eight seconds after Swedish cross country skier Charlotte Kalla crossed the finish line of the skiathlon, Marit Bjoergen of Norway claimed silver — and no small bit of history.
Bjoergen’s silver is her 11th overall medal in the Winter Olympics, making her the most decorated female Winter Olympian of all time. It’s her fourth silver medal, to go along with six golds and a bronze. In the previous two Olympics, she has won three golds in each, including gold in this very event four years ago in Sochi. The 15-kilometer race is a combination of skiing styles, with the first half featuring a classic cross country ski technique and the second a more freestyle skiing.
Bjoergen’s first medal came in 2002 in Salt Lake City, and she won her first World Cup later that year in Germany. Initially a specialist in the sprinting events, it wasn’t until 2004 that she began to add the longer distances to her schedule.
While American Jessie Diggins didn’t make the podium, her fifth-place finish is the best of any American woman ever. The only time an American has ever won a medal in cross country skiing was when Bill Koch took a bronze in 1976 in Austria.
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