Cross-country gold medalist Jessie Diggins has been voted by her fellow Team USA athletes to be the US flag bearer during Sunday's Winter Olympics closing ceremony. It came down to a near-photo finish as Diggins gutted it out to beat the team from Sweden, and win the US its second medal in cross-country skiing Olympic history. "Her spirit and dedication to her sport and team members [are] contagious, and her influence on cross-country skiing and Team USA are remarkable". "I'm really humbled and moved that the athletes voted for me". Well, she's a two-time Olympian who made history at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 by winning Team USA's first-ever medal for women in cross-country skiing.
"This is such an incredible honor for me", said Diggins.
"I have so much respect and admiration for everybody here and am beyond honored to be able to lead us out of these Games", Diggins said. The last time U.S. women were picked for both roles at a Winter Games was in 1976, when skier Cynthia Nelson and speedskater Sheila Young were the selections. "I am proud that she has been recognized with the distinction of being our flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony". But it seems like a sure bet we'll see Jessie.
The win ended the U.S.'s 42-year Olympic cross-country medal drought.
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Including the mixed wins, U.S. women have gold medals in seven events so far.
Marit Bjoergen and Kikkan Randall have shared a special bond since competing against each other at their first Olympics in Salt Lake City 16 years ago.
She lives in Stratton, Vermont, and trained at the Stratton Mountain School.