Norwegian Skier Wins First Gold of 2022 Winter Olympics, Team USA's Jesse Diggins Finishes Sixth

The first medals of the Beijing Games were in the women's 15m skiathlon on Saturday

Therese Johaug
Therese Johaug. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The first gold medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics has been secured.

In the early morning U.S. hours Saturday, the women's 15m skiathlon was held at China's National Cross-Country Skiing Centre in Zhangjiakou, with Norwegian athlete Therese Johaug securing gold in 44 minutes, 13.7 seconds.

Behind her was Russian Olympic Committee's Natalia Nepryaeva, and Teresa Stadlober of Austria, taking silver and bronze, respectively. Neprayaeva was just .3 seconds ahead of Stadlober at the finish.

American athlete Jessie Diggins, who was Team USA's top contender in the 15m skiathlon, finished the race sixth. She previously won gold in 2018 in the women's cross-country team sprint, making history for Team USA at the time.

Speaking to reporters after her race, Diggins said that she was "really proud" of her performance regardless of not medaling, reported.

Jessie Diggins olympics
Jessie Diggins. Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

"At least, you know, you gave it everything you had and you tried as hard as you could," she said. "And I can safely say I did that today, and that means I can walk out of here so proud and feeling so good about my race and also feeling good about my shape and my mental shape and that's half of it. I was really proud of that. But wow, it really hurt."

Diggins, 30, said moving forward she's "trusting that I know how to race and really working on that power striding."

The Olympics kicked off on Friday with an elaborate Opening Ceremony at the National Stadium, with the show including fireworks, intricate projections and the traditional Parade of Nations.

To learn more about Team USA, visit Watch the Winter Olympics, now, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

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