The first Olympic medals were presented on Saturday at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in cross-country skiing for the woman's 15 km skiathlon and history was made. By winning the silver medal, Marit Bjorgen of Norway won her 11th career medal, the most ever by a woman in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. Bjorgen passes Raisa Smetanina of the Soviet Union/Unified Team, who won 10 medals from 1976 to 1992 and Stefania Belmondo of Italy from 1992 to 2002.
Three Scandinavia countries were represented on the Olympic podium. Sandwiched between Bjorgen was Olympic gold medalist Charlotte Kalla of Sweden, who has the distinction of becoming the first gold medalist at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang and Olympic bronze medalist Krista Parmakoski of Finland. This was Kalla's second career individual Olympic gold medal as she also won gold in the women's 10km freestyle at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. The top American was Jessica Diggins in fifth place.
In the men's 30 km skiathlon on Feb. 11, there was a Norwegian sweep in cross country skiing for the second straight Olympic Winter Games. Simen Hegstad Kruger won gold, Martin Johnsrud Sundby won silver and Hans Christer Holund won bronze.
In the women's 1.5 km sprint, Stina Nilsson became the first Swedish woman to win a gold medal in the event. It was Sweden's second gold medal in cross-country skiing at the Olympic Winter Games as Charlotte Kalla also won the gold medal for Sweden in the women's 15 km skiathlon on Feb. 10. The top American was once again Diggins in sixth place.
In the men's 1.8 km sprint, Johannes Hosflot Klaebo of Norway made history by becoming the youngest Olympic men's cross country skiing gold medalist ever at age 21. Gunde Svan of Sweden had the previous record as he was only 22 years old when he won the gold medal in the men's 15 km at the 1984 Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo. The top American was Erik Bjornsen in 18th place.
In the women's 10 kilometer freestyle on Feb. 15, for the first time ever in an individual event in Olympic cross-country skiing, there were four skiers on the Olympic podium. Bjorgen won her 12th career medal and tied with Parmakoski for the bronze medal. Bjorgen has now won 12 cross-country skiing Olympic medals, which is tied with Bjorn Daehlie of Norway for the most medals all-time for a cross-country skier. Diggins was the top American in fifth place.
In the women's 4 x 5 km cross-country skiing relay, Bjorgen made more Olympic history. She won her 13th Olympic medal, a gold, in helping Norway come back to beat Sweden, the Olympic Athletes from Russia and Finland. Bjorgen now has the record for the most medals by a female Olympian in the history of the Olympic Winter Games and is tied with Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen for the most medals by a winter Olympian ever. The United States finished in fifth place.
In the men's 4 x 10 km cross-country skiing relay, Norway won its first gold medal in the event since the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Norway was the only country with two skiers under 22 minutes as Simen Hegstad Kruger had a time of 21:19.7 and Johannes Hosflot Klaebo had a time of 21:54.3. The United States finished in 14th place.
American sports history was made on Feb. 21. In one of the most memorable moments in the history of American winter sport, Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins became the first Americans ever to win the gold medal in cross-country skiing. Randall and Diggins beat Charlotte Kalla and Stina Nilsson of Sweden in a photo finish in what could be the most significant moment from an American perspective at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Only once before has an American won a medal in cross-country skiing. At the 1976 OIympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Bill Koch won the silver in the men's 30 km event. In winning bronze, Marit Bjorgen set the record for the most medals all-time by a Winter Olympian as she collected her 14th medal.
In the men's team sprint, Norway continued their cross-country skiing excellence at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang with their 13th medal and sixth gold medal. Erik Bjornsen and Simi Hamilton helped the United States advance to the final where they finished in sixth place.
In the men's 50 km classical, it was a great two horse race in the second half of the competition between Finland's Iivo Niskanen and Aleksandr Bolshunov of the Olympic Athletes from Russia. Both Niskanen and Bolshunov took turns taking the lead, but Niskanen seemed to have the advantage after he changed to fresher skis. Niskanen was Finland's first gold medalist of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. This was the first time at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games that the Olympic Athletes from Russia earned two medals in one event as Bolshunov won silver and Andrey Larkov won bronze. The Olympic Athletes from Russia earned eight medals in cross-country skiing, the most of any sport. The top American was Scott Patterson in 11th place. AXS Sports successfully predicted a medal for Niskanen.
In the women's 30 km classical, Marit Bjorgen of Norway won her eighth Olympic gold medal of her career and second gold medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. She now has 15 medals, the most by any athlete in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. AXS Sports successfully predicted a gold medal for Bjorgen and a medal for Krista Parmakoski of Finland. The top American was Jessica Diggins in seventh place. Diggins was the American flag bearer in the closing ceremonies of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Here are all the winners in the cross-country skiing events at the Winter Olympics 2018:
(results will be posted after each event)
Women's 15 km Skiathlon:
GOLD: Charlotte Kalla (Sweden) 40:44.9
SILVER: Marit Bjorgen (Norway) 40:52.7
BRONZE: Krista Parmakoski (Finland) 40:55.0
Men's 30 km Skiathlon:
GOLD: Simen Hegstad Kruger (Norway) 1:16:20
SILVER: Martin Johnsrud Sundby (Norway) 1:16:28
BRONZE: Hans Christer Holund (Norway) 1:16:29.9
Women's 1.5 km Sprint:
GOLD: Stina Nilsson (Sweden) 3:03.84
SILVER: Maiken Caspersen Falla (Norway) 3:06.87
BRONZE: Yulia Belorukova (Olympic Athletes from Russia) 3:07.21
Men's 1.8 km Sprint:
GOLD: Johannes Hosflot Klaebo (Norway) 3:05.75
SILVER: Federico Pellegrino (Italy) 3:07.09
BRONZE: Alexander Bolshunov (Olympic Athletes from Russia) 3:07.11
Women's 10 km Individual:
GOLD: Ragnhild Haga (Norway) 25:00.5
SILVER: Charlotte Kalla (Sweden) 25:20.8
BRONZE: Marit Bjorgen (Norway) 25:32.4
BRONZE: Krista Parmakoski (Finland) 25:32.4
Men's 15 km Individual:
GOLD: Dario Cologna (Switzerland) 33:43.9
SILVER: Simen Hegstad Kruger (Norway) 34:02.2
BRONZE: Denis Spitsov (Olympic Athletes from Russia) 34:06.9
Women's 4x5 km Relay:
GOLD: Norway 51:24.3
SILVER: Sweden 51:26.3
BRONZE: Olympic Athletes from Russia 52:07.6
Men's 4x10 km Relay:
GOLD: Norway 1:33.04.9
SILVER: Olympic Athletes from Russia 1:33.14.3
BRONZE: France 1:33:41.8
Women's Team Sprint:
GOLD: Kikkan Randall & Jessica Diggins (United States) 15:56.47
SILVER: Charlotte Kalla & Stina Nilsson (Sweden) 15:56.66
BRONZE: Marit Bjorgen & Maiken Caspersen Falla (Norway) 15:59.44
Men's Team Sprint:
GOLD: Martin Johnsrud Sundby & Johannes Hosflot Klaebo (Norway) 15:56.26
SILVER: Denis Spitsov & Aleksandr Bolshunov (Olympic Athletes from Russia) 15:57.97
BRONZE: Maurice Manificat & Richard Jouve (France) 15:58.28
Men's 50 km Mass Start:
GOLD: Ivo Niskanen (Finland) 2:08:22.1
SILVER: Aleksandr Bolshunov (Olympic Athletes from Russia) 2:08:40.8
BRONZE: Andrey Larkov (Olympic Athletes from Russia) 2:10.59.6
Women's 30 km Mass Start:
GOLD: Marit Bjorgen (Norway) 1:22:17.6
SILVER: Krista Parmakoski (Finland) 1:24:07.1
BRONZE: Stina Nilsson (Sweden) 1:24:16.5