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Moral victories no longer enough: Diggins 5th in skiathlon

Cross-Country Skiing - Winter Olympics Day 1

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 10: Jessica Diggins of the United States competes during the Ladies Cross Country Skiing 7.5km + 7.5km Skiathlon on day one of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Alpensia Cross-Country Centre on February 10, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The U.S. racer Jessie Diggins finished fifth Saturday in the women’s skiathlon. That marked the best individual finish for an American in an Olympic cross-country ski race since 1976, when Bill Koch took silver — still the only medal the United States has won in the discipline.

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It is a measure of the expectations the American team has for these PyeongChang Games that, afterward, Diggins — golden glitter on her cheeks — was pleased but hardly elated.

Moral victories are no longer good enough.

Read more and watch the full replay of the women’s skiathlon