Bjoergen, American women make history at Olympics

Marit Bjoergen, of Norway, competes in the women's team sprint freestyle semifinal cross-country skiing competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) Marit Bjoergen made Olympic history and the United States women’s cross-country team won its first medal ever – and it was gold.

Bjoergen won her 14th medal at the Winter Games by taking bronze with her Norwegian teammates on Wednesday in the team sprint. That made her the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time, breaking the tie she held with Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.

Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall led the way as the American women pulled off a huge upset in the same race. The only other American to win a medal in cross-country skiing was Bill Koch, who took silver in the 30-kilometer race at the 1976 Innsbruck Games.

The Americans posted the fastest time in the semifinals and started on the front row in the final. Diggins passed the Swedes and the Norwegians on the final lap to win the first Olympic gold medal for the United States in the sport. Sweden took silver.

The 37-year-old Bjoergen has won four medals at the Pyeongchang Games. She took gold in the women’s 4×5-kilometer relay, silver in the 15-kilometer skiathlon and bronze in the 10-kilometer freestyle. She still has one event remaining – the 30-kilometer mass start on Sunday – if she chooses to participate.

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