Jessie Diggins, who with teammate Kikkan Randall captured the first Olympic women's cross-country medal in United States history by winning the team sprint gold, will be the U.S. flag bearer in Sunday's Closing Ceremonies for the PyeongChang Olympics.
Participating in her second Olympics, Diggins, 26, of Afton, Minn., won the gold with a powerful late finishing kick to edge Sweden's Stina Nilsson by 0.19 seconds. She is the first cross-country skier to carry the flag for the U.S. in a Closing Ceremonies. The United States' only other Olympic cross-country medal was won by Bill Koch in the 30-kilometer event in 1976.
"This is such an incredible honor for me," Diggins said in a statement issued by the U.S. Olympic Committee. "I'm really humbled and moved that the athletes voted for me. It's so inspiring to feel the support and cheering from everyone. The coolest thing for me about the Games has been getting to meet other athletes on Team USA, and getting to cheer them on at their events and learn about what they do. I have so much respect and admiration for everybody here and am beyond honored to be able to lead us out of these Games."
In addition to the gold medal in the team sprint event, Diggins finished in the top six while competing in four other Olympic events.
The U.S. Olympic Committee also noted Diggins’s career highlights also include being a part of the first American team to win a world cup team sprint event. Diggins and Randall became the first U.S. cross-country skiers to win a world championship gold medal.
“Jessie’s breakthrough performances here in PyeongChang have been inspirational and historic, and her success is representative of years of teamwork and determination from all our athletes,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun in the statement. “I am proud that she has been recognized with the distinction of being our flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony. Her spirit and dedication to her sport and team members is contagious, and her influence on cross-country skiing and Team USA are remarkable.”
1964: Jean Saubert, Alpine Skiing
1968: Tim Wood, Figure Skating
1972: Barbara Ann Cochran, Alpine Skiing
1976: Sheila Young, Speedskating
1980: Eric Heiden, Speedskating
1984: Phil Mahre, Alpine Skiing
1988: Bonnie Blair, Speedskating
1992: Bonnie Blair, Speedskating
1994: Dan Jansen, Speedskating
1998: Cammi Granato, Ice Hockey
2002: Brian Shimer, Bobsled
2006: Joey Cheek, Speedskating
2010: Bill Demong, Nordic Combined
2014: Julie Chu, Ice Hockey
Name: Jessie Diggins
Sport: Cross-Country Skiing
Birthplace: St. Paul, Minn.
Hometown: Afton, Minn.
High School: Stillwater High School (Stillwater, Minn.) ‘10
College: Westminster College
- Two-time Olympian (2014, 2018); Olympic medalist (1 gold)
- PyeongChang 2018, gold (team sprint freestyle), 5th (7.5/7.5K skiathlon), 5th (10K freestyle), 5th (4x5K relay), 6th (sprint classic)
- Sochi 2014, 8th (7.5/7.5K skiathlon, 4X5K relay), 13th (sprint freestyle), 38th (30K mass start)
World Championship Experience
- Most recent: 2017 – silver (sprint freestyle), bronze (team sprint classic), 4th (4x5K relay), 5th (30K mass start), DNF (7.5/7.5K skiathlon)
- Years of participation: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
- Medals: 4 (1 gold, 2 silvers, 1 bronze)
- Gold – 2013 (team sprint freestyle)
- Silver – 2015 (10K freestyle), 2017 (sprint freestyle),
- Bronze – 2017 (team sprint classic)
- Part of the first-ever U.S. team to win a world cup team sprint event, becoming the first U.S. cross-country skier to win a world championship gold medal (with Randall)
Other Career Highlights
- 2017 FIS World Cup Standings, 6th (overall), 7th (distance), 10th (sprint)
- 2016 FIS World Cup Standings, 8th (sprint, overall), 9th (distance)
Personal: Daughter of Clay and Deborah Diggins...Has one sister, Mackenzie...Began skiing at age 3...Hobbies include dancing, hiking, canoeing, camping, swimming, reading, gardening and cooking.