With Jessie Diggins becoming the first American cross-country skier to ever win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics, it’s only fitting that she has been selected to be the flag bearer for the 2018 U.S. Olympic team at the Closing Ceremony.
Diggins was chosen by a vote from fellow members of Team USA.
“This is such an incredible honor for me,” Diggins said. “I’m really humbled and moved that the athletes voted for me. It’s so inspiring to feel the support and cheering from everyone. The coolest thing for me about the Games has been getting to meet other athletes on Team USA, and getting to cheer them on at their events and learn about what they do. I have so much respect and admiration for everybody here and am beyond honored to be able to lead us out of these Games.”
The two-time Olympian, along with teammate Kikkan Randall, captured the gold medal in team sprint (freestyle). It came down to a near-photo finish as Diggins gutted it out to beat the team from Sweden, and win the U.S. its second medal in cross-country skiing Olympic history. The first was a silver medal that came in 1976.
In addition to helping the U.S. make history, Diggins also posted four top-six finishes in the 2018 Olympic Games. Earlier in her career, Diggins was part of the first American team to win a world cup team sprint event, and she and Randall became the first U.S. cross-country skiers to win a world championship gold medal.
When we spoke with Diggins just prior to her arrival in Pyeongchang, she told us that her Olympic success would be measured on effort.
“There are so many things that are totally outside of your control in this sport,” Diggins explained in January. “Someone can crash into you and take you out, you could break a pole or you could get sick. For me, success is going to be defined as crossing the finish line in my race, looking back and knowing that I couldn’t have given anything more. It will be having no gas left in the tank and knowing that in the last four years, I’ve left no stone unturned.”
Mission accomplished, Jessie Diggins.
Don’t miss our 1-on-1 with Diggins, who talked about how she got into the sport and how she’s evolved as a cross-country skier.