Jessie Diggins "grateful" after taking sprint bronze

The USA cross-country skiing star battled back from a semi-final wobble to clinch her second Winter Olympic medal.

By Andrew Binner
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Jessie Diggins is back on the podium at the Olympic Winter Games.

The American first shot to fame when she won her nation’s first ever cross-country skiing gold medal alongside Kikkan Randall in the Team Sprint at PyeongChang 2018.

Four years later, on a chilly Tuesday (8 February) evening at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, Diggins won bronze in the individual sprint for the USA’s first Olympic medal in that event.

Jonna Sundling scorched clear to take gold with Maja Dahlqvist winning the battle for silver to make it a Sweden 1-2.

Diggins was just behind Dahlquist, beating American teammate Rosie Brennan for the last spot on the podium.

“I'm just so grateful,” Diggins told Olympics.com after. “That's my first thought, because it's taken so much from an amazing team. So this really belongs to all of them. And I'm just really happy to be here.”

MORE: Five things to know about Jessie Diggins

Three days after finishing sixth in the skiathlon, Diggins set the second fastest time of the quarter-finals, before recovering from losing her balance in the semis to finish second.

Despite hoping to win gold in the final, the 30-year-old was all smiles afterwards having given it her best shot.

I will always cross the finish line with nothing left to give,” she continued. “That's the only thing I can control - giving it everything I had, so I did that.”

“I'm just so focused on every single push on my skis and very in the moment, like in the flow of just trying to think about any techniques as hard as I can and not thinking about medals, not thinking about how much it hurts, just thinking about how much power I can put into every push.”

The medal-winning performance will have undoubtedly tasted all the sweeter for Diggins, given her disrupted Olympic run-up.

After missing races due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was recently crashed in the Tour de Ski while also competing with a head cold.

But the renowned strong finisher took the setbacks in her stride, before stepping onto the podium at Beijing 2022.

I am a very optimistic person, but also it's just so much fun and easier to be happy and optimistic and always have hope,” she said. “I'm just excited for the rest of this Olympics. I'm excited to be part of such a strong and amazing team.”

Diggins will next be in action on Thursday 10 February, in the women's 10km classic.

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