In one of the final events of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Jessie Diggins closed out her Games with a bang, earning a silver medal in the women’s cross-country 30-kilometer mass start race.
As she crossed the finish line with tears streaming down her face, Diggins collapsed. She had done what no American woman had ever done at the Olympics, and she did it twice.
On Feb. 5, Diggins became the first-ever American woman to win an individual cross-country medal at the Olympics after winning bronze in the 1.5-kilometer women’s cross-country individual sprint.
She added to her legacy as one of the best female American cross-country skiers on Saturday night by winning her second individual cross-country medal.
Diggins became the first non-European woman to medal in the event at the Olympics.
For minutes after finishing, Diggins struggled to stand, having given every ounce of her energy to the grueling race.
After finishing the 30-kilometer mass start race, Diggins revealed that she had food poisoning just 30 hours prior to the race, making an already grueling race ever harder.
“It’s really emotional. That’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my whole life, especially because I had food poisoning 30 hours ago,” Diggins said, per Team USA. “It was so special to see my family and my fiancé right afterwards on video. My legs were cramping the whole last 17 kilometers. I don’t know how I made it to the finish. It was amazing.”
Diggins, a former Westminster College student, finished the 30-kilometer race in Zhangjiakou in 1 hour, 26 minutes and 37 seconds.
She was 1 minute and 43 seconds behind Norway’s Therese Johaug, who turned in a time of 1:24:54.0 to win gold.
Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen won the bronze medal with a time of 1:27:27.3.
Salt Lake City resident Rosie Diggins finished sixth out of 63 competitors with a time of 1:27:32.7.
Sophia Laukli, a member of the University of Utah ski team, finished 15th with a time of 1:31:21.2, and Novie McCabe, another member of the University of Utah ski team, finished 18th with a time of 1:31:22.5.
Diggins’ second-place finish earned the 30-year old her third Olympic medal overall after she won gold in the team sprint at the 2018 Games.
Later on, when she stepped to the podium, Diggins smiled and pumped her fists.
Competition at the 2022 Olympics wrapped up on Saturday night, with Diggins earning one of the last available medals.
How other athletes with Utah ties did in Saturday’s medal events
Bobsled — two-woman
Kaysha Love — Born in West Jordan, Salt Lake City resident — seventh place out of 20 teams.
Cross-country skiing — men’s 50km mass start
Snorri Einarsson (Iceland) — University of Utah (2007-08 Utah ski team) — 23rd place out of 60 competitors.
Speedskating — men’s mass start
Joey Mantia — Salt Lake City resident — fourth place out of 16 competitors
Speedskating — women’s mass start
Giorgia Birkeland — Salt Lake Community College (current student) — 12th place out of 17 competitors.