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Perfect strategy behind USA’s historic cross-country gold

Cross-Country Skiing - Winter Olympics Day 12

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 21: Jessica Diggins of the United States (14-2) stretches across the finish line to win gold ahead of Stina Nilsson of Sweden (12-2) during the Cross Country Ladies’ Team Sprint Free Final on day 12 of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Alpensia Cross-Country Centre on February 21, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Jessica Diggins’ strategy couldn’t have worked any better.

The result was a historic gold medal for the United States in women’s cross-country skiing and a celebration that lasted well into the night.

NBCOlympics.com: Incredible call perfectly captures Diggins’ historic moment

The American team of Diggins and Kikkan Randall set out Wednesday night to win the country’s first Olympic medal in the sport since 1976 and the first of any kind for the US women’s team. But their thoughts turned to something even more special as the race wore on.

“Lap one we were skiing a little more conservative and I thought, ‘OK there are too many people, I am going to start to string it out,” Diggins said.

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