Jessie Diggins Wins Team USA's First-Ever Cross Country Skiing Individual Sprint Medal with Bronze

Fellow American skier Rosie Brennan came in fourth place in the final just behind teammate Jessie Diggins

Jessie Diggins
Jessie Diggins. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Jessie Diggins just secured Team USA's first-ever Olympic sprint medal in cross-country skiing.

The athlete won the bronze in the women's sprint on Tuesday in China, coming in just behind Sweden's Jonna Sundling, who took gold, and Sundling's teammate Maja Dahlqvist, who was in second-place.

Team USA's Rosie Brennan, 33, also competed in the final, coming in fourth place.

Diggins, 30, has made history for Team USA once before: back in 2018, she and teammate Kikkan Randall won America's first-ever cross-country skiing gold medal in the women's team sprint.

Jessie Diggins
Jessie Diggins (far left). Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Diggins' journey to Olympic glory has not been without bumps in the road. In an interview with NBC News' Kristen Dahlgren released earlier this week, Diggins spoke about grappling with an eating disorder for years to cope with feeling "like nothing I did was ever good enough."

Eventually, she sought treatment that changed her life. If she hadn't, Diggins said, "I wouldn't be skiing, that's for sure. But also I don't know if I'd be around if I'm totally honest."

"I think eating disorders thrive in stigma and shame," explained Diggins, "... and that's why I'm talking about it right now. It shouldn't be a shameful thing. If you can make it out of the other side of an eating disorder, nothing else will be that hard in your entire life."

And she said she'd feel so proud of her accomplishments in her health and as an athlete should she win a medal (which, luckily, she did).

"If we do have a chance to stand on the podium, and see the flag get raised, I think it's a very cool testament for me that you can do this the right way," she said to Dahlgren. "You can do it by honoring what your body needs and listening to that and having a body that's unique to you."

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

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