Diggins Narrowly Misses Medal in Cross-Country Skiathlon

U.S. cross country skier Jessie Diggins says her sport is a lot tougher than it looks.

(Published Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018)

Midwest native Jessie Diggins fell just short of ending the United States' 42-year long medal drought in cross country skiing Saturday.

-

WATCH: JESSIE DIGGINS RACES FOR GOLD IN SKIATHLON

Diggins, a Minnesota-product who finished in eight place in the race in Sochi, came in fifth place in the women's 15km siathlon, finishing with a time of 40 minutes, 59.6 seconds.

The U.S. hasn't won an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing since the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics when Bill Koch won a silver medal in the men's 30km skiathlon.

Diggins was considered a strong contender on the women's side to help the U.S. break the 42-year-old drought.

The skiathlon is a gruelling event, featuring 7.5 kilometers of racing using classical techniques and the second half of the event, also 7.5 kilometers, featuring freestyle cross-country skiing.

Road to PyeongChang: Olympians From the Midwest Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Evans is gunning for her second straight Olympic appearance in the event after winning a bronze medal in Sochi. Getty Images

Marit Bjorgen became the most decorated female Winter Olympian by picking up the silver medal in the race at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Charlotte Kalla of Sweden separated herself from the field to win the first gold medal of the PyeongChang Games. Kalla finished in 40 minutes, 44.9 seconds. Bjorgen closed 7.8 seconds behind Kalla.