Marit Bjorgen makes Olympic history in PyeongChang

All Marit Bjorgen needed was one event. One race to make history. Bjorgen on Saturday became the most...

Posted: Feb 10, 2018 8:16 AM
Updated: Feb 10, 2018 8:17 AM

All Marit Bjorgen needed was one event.

One race to make history.

Bjorgen on Saturday became the most decorated female Winter Olympian by picking up the silver medal in the women's 15km skiathlon at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The silver is Bjorgen's 11th career Olympic medal, most ever by a female Winter Olympian. One more medal will move her into a tie with Norwegian Bjoern Daehlie for the most Olympic medals by a cross-country skier of all-time.

"I am here to take medals," Bjorgen, 37, said. "It is my fifth Olympics and still to be there, I am happy with that. I am happy to be here at my age."

With two more medals, Bjorgen will tie Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen as the most decorated Winter Olympian. Three more would put her in sole possession of that title.

Charlotte Kalla of Sweden separated herself from the field to win the first gold medal of the PyeongChang Games. Kalla finished in 40 minutes, 44.9 seconds. Bjorgen closed 7.8 seconds behind Kalla.

Bjorgen was leading the pack until Kalla broke away in the final 2 kilometers. From there, it was Kalla's race to lose and she only saw her lead increase.

"I should have been more aware when Charlotte was attacking," Bjorgen said. "It was other girls there as well and not easy to have her back. She was too tough for me, so I think that silver was the best for me.

"I am very happy to take a medal in my last Olympics and still to be there. Charlotte was stronger than me."

The gold is Kalla's third and sixth Olympic medal of her career. At the 2014 Sochi Games, Kalla earned silver, while Bjorgen won the gold. The roles were reversed at the PyeongChang Games.

"(It means) a lot," Kalla said of winning the first medal of the PyeongChang Games. "I was quite nervous today and the Olympics is something I have focused on for a long, long time. It has felt great during the season, but I know everyone wants to be in shape at the Olympics.

"It was really exciting and fun to compete today. … On the finish line. I did not want to look back before and just focus on keep pushing all the time. It was so much happiness but also relief. But most of all, pure joy."

Finland's Krista Parmakoski took home the bronze medal. She finished the race in 40 minutes, 55 seconds.

Bjorgen's next chance at a medal will be Tuesday’s women’s 10km individual sprint.

"Last year, in her home world championships," Parmakoski said, "we were fighting with Marit and now also we're fighting with Marit. She was really strong and I think that she will also come to win a gold medal here."

Jessie Diggins finished in fifth place, completing the race in 40 minutes, 59.6 seconds. Diggins' fifth-place finish is the highest for an American woman in Olympic cross-country.

Before Saturday's event, the previous highest finish by an American woman was Sophie Caldwell, who finished in sixth place of the women's individual sprint at the 2014 Sochi Games.

The U.S. will have to wait another day to end their 42-year long Olympic medal drought in cross-country skiing.

Cross-country continues Sunday (1:15 a.m EST) with the men’s 30km skiathlon.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds110426
Madison77829
Lauderdale76569
Neshoba73945
Jones70933
Scott66312
Forrest60039
DeSoto59310
Rankin4639
Leake45512
Holmes44431
Copiah3344
Jackson31415
Attala31218
Yazoo2985
Newton2924
Oktibbeha28314
Leflore28238
Lincoln28131
Wayne2803
Monroe26925
Harrison2687
Lamar2525
Lowndes2529
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20416
Warren19910
Washington1998
Lee1978
Noxubee1956
Covington1832
Bolivar16911
Jasper1684
Clarke15619
Smith15611
Lafayette1564
Kemper15611
Chickasaw14314
Coahoma1324
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1165
Yalobusha1116
Grenada1104
Lawrence1071
Simpson1050
Sunflower963
Tate931
Hancock9012
Marshall893
Union897
Itawamba897
Webster885
Panola873
Wilkinson859
Montgomery841
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun684
Walthall670
Amite651
Humphreys647
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Choctaw522
Perry513
Pontotoc493
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie311
Greene301
George302
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
Coffee2401
Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
Russell1870
Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
Macon944
Winston920
Jackson863
Henry842
Covington831
Crenshaw803
Escambia793
Bibb761
Washington746
Blount641
Lawrence510
Monroe492
Geneva450
Perry430
Conecuh421
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Tupelo
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 95°
Columbus
Broken Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 97°
Oxford
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 93°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 92°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather