U.S. cross-country skiers share historic podium at World Championships (video)
Olympians Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg won silver and bronze medals in the World Championships 10km freestyle in Falun, Sweden, on Tuesday, marking the first time two Americans made the podium of a World Championships or Olympic individual cross-country skiing race.
Sweden’s five-time Olympic medalist Charlotte Kalla captured gold in 25 minutes, 8.8 seconds, a comfortable 41 seconds faster than Diggins. Gregg was another 5.9 seconds back.
Diggins and U.S. stalwart Kikkan Randall captured Worlds team sprint gold in 2013. Randall earned an individual sprint silver in 2009. On the men’s side, Bill Koch took 30km silver at the 1976 Olympics and bronze at the 1982 Worlds.
That’s the complete medal history for U.S. cross-country skiers.
“We talked at the team meeting last night and I said, ‘Why not me?’” Diggins said, according to the U.S. Ski Team.
Gregg had never finished in the top 10 of a top-level international race.
“This was a goal of mine since before the season, but I went out today believing anything was possible and I skied like I wanted to win a medal,” Gregg said, according to the U.S. Ski Team.
Diggins placed 13th in the individual sprint at the Sochi Olympics. Gregg, who did not ski in Sochi, had a top individual finish of 30th in the 10km at the 2010 Olympics, when she was Caitlin Compton.