More history for Marit Bjorgen as Norway claims gold in 4x5km relay

Marit Bjorgen became the most decorated female Winter Olympian ever last Saturday. On Thursday, Bjorgen tied ...

Posted: Feb 17, 2018 10:51 AM
Updated: Feb 17, 2018 10:51 AM

Marit Bjorgen became the most decorated female Winter Olympian ever last Saturday.

On Thursday, Bjorgen tied Bjoern Daehlie as the most decorated cross-country skier of all-time.

Now, this.

“She is an absolute legend,” American cross-country skier Jessie Diggins said Saturday.

The legend reached new highs at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Bjorgen moved into a tie with fellow Norwegian, and King of Biathlon, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen as the most decorated Winter Olympian with her 13th medal as Norway claimed gold in the women’s 4x5km relay.

The gold medal is Bjorgen’s seventh of her Olympic career – most by an Olympic cross-country skier.

Only Daehlie and Bjoerndalen have more gold medals, with eight.

Three events into the PyeongChang Games for Bjorgen and she has made history in each.

“I haven’t thought about that,” she said. “I think, when you’re an athlete and still racing, you’re looking forward and not thinking about what you’ve done. You’re just looking forward to the next race.”

Looking forward to the next race.

For all Bjorgen has accomplished in PyeongChang already, she has two more races left.

Two more chances to increase her medal count. To add to her Olympic legacy.

“When I’ve finished skiing,” Bjorgen said, “I’ll look behind me and see what I will have done.

"It’s also important if you want to still be on a high level you forget what you have done.”

Based on her performance in the relay, the 37-year-old isn’t slowing down in her final Olympics.

Bjorgen anchored Norway’s relay team, and when she took the handoff from Ragnhild Haga, she had ground to make up. After three legs, Norway trailed Sweden and the Olympic Athletes from Russia.

But the 3.4-second deficit was not nearly enough to prevent Bjorgen from making the leap to head of the pack, and it certainly didn’t take long for the Norwegian to erased Sweden’s lead.

On the first hill climb of the final leg, Bjorgen made her move.

Swedish skier Stina Nilsson, who won gold in the women’s individual sprint, didn’t stand a chance.

“I was really inspired by the position the other girls had given to me,” Nilsson said, “and I just tried to keep up with Marit for as long as I could, but she was too strong for me in the finish. She had a really fast pace and I knew she was trying to go as fast as she could and, yeah, she was better than me today.”

Nilsson made a few valiant efforts to pass Bjorgen and retake the lead but to no avail. Bjorgen held off the 24-year-old Nilsson and sprinted to the finish line to secure the gold medal for Norway.

The gold medal is Norway’s 10th cross-country skiing medal of the PyeongChang Games.

“I think that Ingvild (Oestberg) was jumping up and down,” Haga said, “and Astrid (Uhrenholdt Jacobsen) was crying and I was a little bit calm. So it was mixed emotions on the team.”

Mixed emotions for a Norwegian cross-country skiing team that has dominated these Olympics.

Mixed emotions for three skiers who earned a gold largely because of Bjorgen’s final leg.

Perhaps the mixed emotions came from not believing what they had just seen.

“I was thinking last night and this day also,” Bjorgen said, “that it could be possible that I was going out with Stina and I knew that, for sure, that she’s very strong in the end.

“I thought it was going to be hard when I had Stina on my skis on the last lap, so I’m very happy. I can’t understand that I did it either.”

Sweden captured the silver medal, finishing two seconds behind Norway, and with the way Bjorgen sprinted to the finish line, those were a long two seconds. On the second leg, Charlotte Kalla overtook the lead from the Olympic Athletes from Russia and Sweden led until Bjorgen entered the race.

OAR took home the bronze medal, with Finland missing the podium. The U.S. finished in fifth place, as its 42-year Olympic medal drought in the sport lives on for at least another event.

“This is our best Olympic relay finish ever,” Kikkan Randall said, “and probably the most excitement we’ve ever had.”

Oestberg and Jacobsen also received gold medals along with Bjorgen and Haga. Oestberg skied the first leg, while Jacobsen went second.

Receiving silvers for Sweden are Anna Haag, who skied first, Kalla, Ebba Andersson and Nilsson.

Natalia Nepryaeva, Yulia Belorukova, Anastasia Sedova and Anna Nechaevskaya earned bronzes for the OAR.

Cross-country skiing returns Sunday with the men’s 4x10km relay.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 250869

Reported Deaths: 5481
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17010171
Hinds16091318
Harrison13250193
Rankin10629208
Jackson10216182
Lee8759141
Madison8186161
Jones6222109
Forrest5917118
Lauderdale5808180
Lowndes5309111
Lafayette491192
Lamar480465
Washington4770123
Bolivar3955106
Oktibbeha390380
Panola365076
Pontotoc361152
Monroe3521104
Warren344597
Union341458
Marshall339165
Neshoba3357152
Pearl River323295
Leflore2992105
Lincoln295685
Sunflower280469
Tate269560
Alcorn262653
Itawamba261159
Hancock260458
Pike259977
Scott244745
Prentiss244052
Yazoo242654
Tippah239749
Copiah239149
Simpson233967
Leake229564
Coahoma228554
Grenada217070
Covington210471
Marion208371
Adams203270
Winston199464
Wayne198730
George197938
Attala193158
Newton189142
Chickasaw182944
Tishomingo182159
Holmes168167
Jasper167735
Clay158233
Stone141520
Tallahatchie139234
Clarke137460
Calhoun135121
Smith119423
Yalobusha116134
Walthall111736
Noxubee110222
Greene109129
Montgomery109134
Carroll104121
Lawrence102117
Perry100531
Amite96825
Webster91924
Tunica86021
Claiborne85525
Jefferson Davis84025
Humphreys82624
Benton81023
Kemper76620
Quitman6838
Franklin65815
Choctaw60013
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53419
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 420681

Reported Deaths: 6119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61755921
Mobile30058548
Madison26852186
Tuscaloosa20652266
Montgomery18876305
Shelby18421114
Baldwin16176182
Lee12393101
Morgan12175113
Etowah11687168
Calhoun11078200
Marshall10158107
Houston8556148
Cullman7999105
Limestone796274
Elmore7783101
DeKalb767197
Lauderdale752883
St. Clair7502120
Talladega6145108
Walker5880174
Jackson578841
Colbert529873
Blount529283
Autauga515455
Coffee438156
Dale394381
Franklin365248
Chilton335365
Covington326968
Russell326810
Escambia316142
Dallas302896
Chambers281869
Clarke279633
Tallapoosa2607107
Pike247629
Marion244650
Lawrence242547
Winston225535
Bibb214447
Geneva199535
Marengo197829
Pickens196231
Hale175442
Barbour172336
Butler168458
Fayette167126
Cherokee160030
Henry152721
Monroe145017
Randolph138835
Washington137026
Clay126145
Crenshaw118644
Lamar117519
Cleburne117223
Macon114335
Lowndes109535
Wilcox102621
Bullock98728
Perry96919
Conecuh94220
Sumter88826
Greene75723
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 52°
Columbus
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 53°
Oxford
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 50°
Starkville
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 54°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather