Jessie Diggins wins Olympic silver in gritty 30km, final medal for Team USA

Team USA's Jessie Diggins win silver in the women's 30km mass start at the 2022 Winter Olympics
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Much like the glitter she wears on her cheeks, Team USA‘s Jessie Diggins’ first and second career Olympic medals came with sparkling fashion marked by furious sprints.

Her third Olympic medal, however, required a long slog. But the result is just as shiny.

MORE WINTER OLYMPICS COVERAGE: The most memorable and historic moments in women’s sports

On the final day of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Diggins won Team USA’s final medal in Beijing: a silver in cross-country skiing’s women’s 30km (equivalent to 18.6 miles). Norway’s Therese Johaug won the race, while Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen claimed bronze.

“That might have been the best race of my entire life, I’m not going to lie. It was also maybe the hardest race of my whole life,” said Diggins.

She revealed that she has been dealing with food poisoning for the last 30 hours, “Which is why I thought I was going to die at the finish line.”

After waking up on Saturday morning “pretty much everything was coming right out of me,” she spent most of the day in bed, forcing herself to eat food ahead of the grueling marathon race.

“I was talking to my parents and my mom said, ‘Don’t decide how you feel right now, just go out there and ski because you love to race.’ And she was right.”

MORE JESSIE DIGGINS COVERAGE: Jessie Diggins’ legacy extends far beyond her historic Olympic gold

Diggins now has a “complete set” of Olympic medals, thanks to her historic gold from PyeongChang and her individual sprint bronze from earlier at these Beijing Winter Games.

If anyone knows how to do hard things, it is Jessie Diggins

Already the only American in history to win two Olympic medals in the sport, Diggins’ third career medal further solidifies her record as the greatest U.S. cross-country skier of all-time. She also becomes the sixth member of Team USA to win two medals in Beijing, joining Nathan Chen, Madison Hubbell, Zach Donohue, Elana Meyers Taylor and Lindsey Jacobellis.

Just three kilometers into the 30km event, the quartet of Diggins, Johaug, Sweden’s Ebba Andersson and France’s Delphine Claudel had separated themselves from the rest of the pack.

By 10 kilometers, the trio of Johaug, Diggins, and Andersson had separated themselves from each other. For the next 20 kilometers – nearly one hour of racing – that’s how the race continued. It was not a pretty race, but it was certainly a gritty one.

Johaug managed to hang on to win gold, crossing the line in 1:24:54. The Norwegian skier – who missed the 2018 Winter Olympics while dealing with a doping-related suspension – won three gold medals at these 2022 Winter Olympics, bringing her career total to six.

Diggins was also too quick to be caught. The 30-year-old from Afton, Minn., finished a minute and 43 seconds behind Johaug to claim silver.

But the chase pack caught up with Andersson. In the dying moments of the 30km event, she was passed by Finland’s Niskanen, who claimed bronze. Andersson went on to finish eighth.

“My legs were cramping the whole last 17km. I don’t know how I made it to the finish,” Diggins said on the NBC broadcast, also noting the support she felt from other Team USA athletes at the venue.

“That was so hard, but it was so special, because I felt like we had so much love out there. So I just want to say ‘thank you.'”

In addition to Diggins, her U.S. teammates Rosie Brennan (sixth), Sophie Laukli (15th), and Novie McCabe (18th) also had strong performances, marking the first time four American athletes finished in the top 18 of any Olympic cross-country skiing event. Today’s 30km marked the 21-year-old Laukli’s Olympic debut.

Video of Jessie Diggins winning the women’s 30km at the 2022 Winter Olympics:

Even without a medal, Rosie Brennan’s performance at the 2022 Winter Olympics was remarkable

In Beijing, Brennan finished in the top-15 of all six cross-country skiing events, including a fourth-place result in the individual sprint and sixth-place finish today (just 5.4 seconds off the podium after an hour and 27 minutes of racing).

It’s a remarkable performance for the 32-year-old, who says she needed a few extra years to reach her prime.

Four years ago, the then-28-year-old Brennan made her Olympic debut in PyeongChang, where she competed in one event – the skiathlon – finishing 58th. She was cut from the U.S. team after those Winter Olympics – she would later discover that she had been competing with an undiagnosed case of mononucleosis – and spent the next year funding her own training and racing. She eventually made her way back onto the U.S. national cross-country skiing team and had a breakout 2020-21 season on the World Cup circuit.

A note for the cross-country skiing record books:

At the Olympics and world championships, it is tradition that the longest men’s cross country race is 50km long, while the longest women’s event is 30km.

“On principle, it really bothers me a lot,” Diggins told NBC Olympics last spring. “Not only can we ski 50km, but we can ski more.”

While the women didn’t ski 50km in Beijing, the men didn’t either. Due to extreme weather conditions, including strong winds, the men’s 50km event on Saturday in Beijing was shortened. While it was called a 30km, it technically only clocked in at 28.4km.

The women’s race on Saturday, however, went the full 30km.

Even though the result was unintentional, it is still a significant moment in the Games called the “most gender balanced ever” that women skied farther than men for the first time ever at an Olympic Games.

Looking ahead, Diggins believes races could be organized so that men and women’s events take the same amount of time, even if they aren’t the same distance.

“Do we need to race the exact same length? Maybe not. Do we need to race the same amount of time on course? Yeah, I think that’s absolutely reasonable,” she said.

Cross-Country Skiing Women’s 30km – Top 10 Finishers at the 2022 Winter Olympics:

Result Nation Athlete Time Time Behind
1 NOR Therese JOHAUG 1:24:54.0 0
2 USA Jessie DIGGINS 1:26:37.3 +1:43.3
3 FIN Kerttu NISKANEN 1:27:27.3 +2:33.3
4 SWE Jonna SUNDLING 1:27:29.4 +2:35.4
5 ROC Tatiana SORINA 1:27:31.2 +2:37.2
6 USA Rosie BRENNAN 1:27:32.7 +2:38.7
7 FRA Delphine CLAUDEL 1:27:34.0 +2:40.0
8 SWE Ebba ANDERSSON 1:27:35.5 +2:41.5
9 ROC Mariya ISTOMINA 1:28:00.1 +3:06.1
10 FIN Krista PARMAKOSKI 1:28:35.0 +3:41.0


On Her Turf writer Lisa Antonucci and the NBC Olympics research team contributed to this report. 

2023 March Madness: Utah Utes engineer dramatic turnaround for third-ever Sweet Sixteen appearance

Members of the Utah Utes celebrate their win over the Princeton Tigers in the second round of the NCAA Womens Basketball Tournament.
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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The No. 2-seeded Utah (27-4) women’s basketball team held off a pesky 10th-seeded Princeton squad on Sunday, winning 63-56 to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships for the first time since 2005-06 and just the third time in the program’s history.

“I’m proud of our team,” said eighth-year head coach Lynne Roberts after the second-round win at Utah’s Hunstman Center. “We set out to do this a year ago. We lost in this game at University of Texas and the goal was to be able to host (this year) so that we could have that home-court advantage and it made a difference.”

Utah’s fourth-year junior Alissa Pili backed up her recent second-team All-American honor with another 20-plus-point performance, scoring 28 on 8-for 13 shooting with 10 rebounds and going 11-for 13 on free throws. Sophomore forward Jenna Johnson added 15 points and six rebounds.

There’s been a lot of talk this weekend about how the Utes’ previous few seasons have ended – beginning with a rough 14-17 season that was cut short in 2020 due to the pandemic, followed by an abysmal 5-16 record in 2020-21. But the tide turned last year, as Utah rebounded with a 21-12 season that ended with a 78-56 loss to Texas in Austin in the second round of the NCAA tournament one year ago.

So, what changed?

“Last year, everyone was new to the NCAA tournament, so I think everyone was just experiencing it for the first time,” mused Johnson. “Losing in the second round last year, we’re definitely a lot hungrier this year, and then obviously hosting in Salt Lake, it’s fun just being in your own environment, to be around your own fans. I think it gives us an elevated level of confidence, both knowing what it’s like it play in this tournament and also getting to be at home.”

“Yeah, freshman year was kind of rough,” added third-year sophomore Kennady McQueen, who chipped in nine points Sunday. “We did experience losing a lot. … Coach Roberts, she said we are not going to have another season like that. We all stood behind her — the people that stayed — and brought in great people like starting last year with Jenna and Gi (Gianna Kneepkens) and people like that who have had a huge impact in helping us to where we are today. …

“When you get together a group of people that have the same goal in mind and will do make anything to make it happen, I think that’s where we have seen our success rate going up. This past offseason, we just kept getting better, and of course, the addition of the Alissa Pili really helped. When you bring a group of girls that have the same dream and same goal at the end of the year and doesn’t care about personal stats more than winning, I think we get the season that we have today, and it prepares us for deep run in March.”

In particular, McQueen believe it was Utah’s improvement in their defense that was crucial to the turnaround. “Everyone knows how good we are on offense, but if we can’t get stops, it doesn’t matter how good you are on offense,” she said. “So that’s just been a key the whole past off-season and all of this season — just getting better on defense.”

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: Alissa Pili revives her love of basketball with record season at Utah

Roberts credits their defensive improvement with a “philosophical mindset change,” explaining, “We worked on [defense] a lot differently, a lot more intentionally. Strategically we made some changes of how we are going to defend, and I won’t bore you with that. But there was a lot, just different things because you have to play to your strengths. You can’t be a run-and-jump pressing team if you don’t have the depth and athletes to do it. You can’t be a zone team if you are not super big. You have to figure out what fits your personnel, and so that’s what we did.”

There’s also the undeniable impact of Pili, a transfer from USC who has found her stride as a Ute, where she recently was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year.

“She kind of is the straw that stirs the drink for us right now,” said Roberts of the 21-year-old Alaska native. “She’s a nightmare to defend because she can shoot the three, and she’s also really athletic and mobile, so it doesn’t matter who we are playing. I think you have to gameplan for her. But then with her three-point shooting, you know, you have to pick your poison.”

But Roberts also gave plenty of kudos to Johnson, whom she describes as “phenomenal.”

“She’s 19 going on 40,” Roberts said of Johnson. “She’s the most mature, even-keeled consistent player we have. What I love about her is she is who she is. She’s confident in who she is. She knows who she is. She also is incredibly busy off the court.

“We were talking as we were getting ready to watch film, just shooting the breeze a bunch of us, we were talking about movies. And she was like, Oh, I don’t watch movies. Why not? I don’t have time. I get bored. What do you mean you don’t have time? Do you watch shows? No, I don’t ever watch TV. It is because she is doing all of these other extracurricular activities.”

As for guiding to the Utes to becoming a championship program, Roberts still sees it as an uphill battle – but one that she and her players are ready for.

“I always use the analogy of pushing the boulder up the hill,” she said. “And doing things for the first time, you have to have that mindset. You have to keep pushing. It’s been incredibly fun to see the support, and I think the swell is a perfect word for it. Most importantly, our players feel it.

“This is why you play, right? And it means so much. I know I say it over and over, but this is not going to be a flash-in-the-pan [season]. This isn’t going to be a ‘Oh, remember that year they had such an incredible year?’ We are going to keep doing it.”

RELATED: 2023 March Madness 2023 — Updated bracket, scores and schedule for NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship

2023 March Madness: Updated bracket, scores and schedule for NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship


Editor’s note: We’ll keep this page updated, so be sure to check back here for winners, scores and next-round details as the tournament progresses.

The bracket for 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship is officially set and defending champion South Carolina earned the No. 1 overall seed for the second straight season. A total of 68 teams will see tournament action, beginning with the “First Four” games on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by Round 1 play kicking off on Friday.

On Her Turf has compiled the matchups, sites and schedule for the tournament, which culminates Sunday, April 2 with the title game from American Airlines Center in Dallas.

2023 tournament No. 1 seeds:

  • South Carolina Gamecocks
  • Indiana Hoosiers
  • Virginia Tech Hokies
  • Stanford Cardinal

Last four teams in the tournament:

  • Illinois
  • Mississippi State
  • Purdue
  • St. John’s

First four teams out of the tournament:

  • Columbia
  • Kansas
  • UMass
  • Oregon

RELATED: South Carolina nabs No. 1 overall seed in NCAA women’s basketball tournament

‘First Four’ game schedule

Wednesday, March 15

  • 7 p.m. ET: 11. Illinois vs. 11. Mississippi State (South Bend, Indiana)
    • Winner: Mississippi State, 70-56
  • 9 p.m. ET: 16 Southern U vs. 16 Sacred Heart (Stanford, California)
    • Winner: Sacred Heart, 57-47

Thursday, March 16

  • 7 p.m. ET: 11 Purdue vs. 11 St. John’s (Columbus, Ohio)
    • Winner: St. John’s, 66-64
  • 9 p.m. ET: 16 Tennessee Tech vs. 16 Monmouth (Greenville, S.C.)
    • Winner: Tennessee Tech, 79-69

Bracket, schedule* by region 

*Includes scores, game time and TV network, if available


Columbia, S.C.

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 1. South Carolina 72, 16. Norfolk State 40
    • 8. South Florida 67, 9. Marquette 65
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 1. South Carolina 76, 8. South Florida, 45

Los Angeles, California

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 5. Oklahoma 85, 12. Portland 63
    • 4. UCLA 67, 13. Sacramento State 45
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 4. UCLA vs. 5. Oklahoma, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

South Bend, Indiana

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 6. Creighton 66, 11. Mississippi State 81 (First Four winner)
    • 3. Notre Dame 82, 14. Southern Utah 56
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 3. Notre Dame 53, 11. Mississippi State 48

College Park, Maryland

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 7. Arizona 75, 10. West Virginia 62
    • 2. Maryland 93, 15. Holy Cross 61
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 2. Maryland 77, 7. Arizona 64


Bloomington, Indiana

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 1. Indiana 77, 16. Tennessee Tech 47 (First Four winner)
    • 8. Oklahoma State 61, 9. Miami 62 (FL)
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 1. Indiana vs. 9. Miami, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Villanova, Pennsylvania

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 5. Washington State 63, 12. FGCU 74
    • 4. Villanova 76, 13. Cleveland State 59
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 12. FGCU vs. 4. Villanova, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 6. Michigan 71, 11. UNLV 59
    • 3. LSU 73, 14. Hawaii 50
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 6. Michigan vs. 3. LSU, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 7. N.C. State 63, 10. Princeton 64
    • 2. Utah 103, 15. Gardner-Webb 77
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 2. Utah vs. 10. Princeton, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)


 Blacksburg, Virginia

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 1. Virginia Tech 58, 16. Chattanooga 33
    • 8. Southern California 57, 9. South Dakota State 62
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 1. Virginia Tech 72, South Dakota State, 60

Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 5. Iowa State 73, 12. Toledo 80
    • 4. Tennessee 95, 13. Saint Louis 50
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 12. Toledo vs. 4. Tennessee, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Columbus, Ohio

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 6. North Carolina 61, 11. St. John’s  59 (First Four winner)
    • 3. Ohio State 80, 14. James Madison 66
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 3. Ohio State vs. 6. North Carolina, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Storrs, Connecticut

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 7. Baylor 78, 10. Alabama 74
    • 2. UConn 95, 15. Vermont 52
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 2. UConn vs. 7. Baylor, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)


Stanford, California

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 1. Stanford 92, 16. Sacred Heart 49 (First Four winner)
    • 8. Ole Miss 71, 9. Gonzaga 48
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 1. Stanford vs. 8. Ole Miss, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Austin, Texas 

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 5. Louisville 83, 12. Drake 81
    • 4. Texas 79, 13. East Carolina 40
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 4. Texas vs. 5. Louisville, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Durham, N.C. 

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 6. Colorado 82, 11. Middle Tennessee State 60
    • 3. Duke 89, 14. Iona 49
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 3. Duke vs. Colorado, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Iowa City, Iowa 

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 7. Florida State 54, 10. Georgia 66
    • 2. Iowa 95, 15. Southeastern Louisiana 43
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 2. Iowa 74, 10. Georgia 66

Regionals/Final Four schedule, how to watch

Sweet 16: Friday and Saturday, March 24-25; Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, S.C., host: Southern Conference and Furman; and Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, hosts: Seattle and Seattle Sports Commission

Elite 8: Sunday and Monday, March 26-27; Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, S.C., host: Southern Conference and Furman; and Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, hosts: Seattle and Seattle Sports Commission

Final 4: Friday, March 31, 7 p.m. ET and 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN); American Airlines Center, Dallas; hosts: Big 12 Conference and Dallas Sports Commission

Championship Game: Sunday, April 2, 3 p.m. ET (ABC); American Airlines Center, Dallas; hosts: Big 12 Conference and Dallas Sports Commission

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: 2023 March Madness — All about the 32 automatic qualifiers