The United States made history on Wednesday after Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins won the women’s team sprint freestyle race at the Winter Olympic Games. The duo secured Team USA’s first ever gold in cross-country skiing thus ending America’s 42-year Olympic medal drought in that category.
The last medal the U.S. took in cross-country was Bill Koch’s silver in 1976. Randall’s and Diggins’s victory will hopefully be celebrated by the 48% of Americans who are “extremely/very familiar” with cross-country skiing. According to The Harris Poll’s recent survey on Americans’ knowledge of the Winter Olympics and their games of interest, almost all Americans (96%) have heard of cross-country skiing, but the numbers drop when it comes to millennials. 90% of millennial men and 86% of millennial women had heard of cross-country, but even more millennial men (14%) than women (7%) had never heard of the sport.
Nonetheless, our Olympians have each other to thank and applaud for this historic win. “I’ve got someone who I really love and care about waiting for me at the finishing line,” Diggins said of her teammate, Randall. “I just want to make her proud.”