American Jessie Diggins Becomes First Non-European Athlete to Medal in Olympic 30-Kilometer Cross-Country Skiing

American Jessie Diggins on Feb. 20 became the first non-European athlete to win an Olympic medal in the women’s 30-kilometer cross-country skiing.

Diggins, the 30-year-old Minnesota native, won silver after finishing the mass start event with a time of 1:26:37.3, becoming the most successful American skier in her sport in Olympic history.

After the race, Diggins revealed she had food poisoning hours before “which is why I thought I was going to die at the finish line.”

“That’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my whole life,” Diggins said.

“The last two laps my legs were cramping so I just kept trying to drink as much as I could. We had amazing cheering out there, and I was like ‘I just can’t give up. I have to put everything I have into the snow today and finish with nothing left. Maybe I can hold on to a medal, maybe not, but I have to try,'” Diggins also said.

Diggins’ victory earned the United States its 25th medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Diggins announced before the event that it was going to be her last race at the Olympics.

Diggins was one of the first Americans to win Olympic gold in cross-country skiing with Kikkan Randall in the team sprint four years ago in Pyeongchang.

Diggins also has 19 World Championships medals, 14 of which are gold.

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