cross-country skiing records shattered at 2022 Olympics
Jessie Diggins had nothing left after she crossed the finish line of the last cross-country skiing race at the 2022 Winter Olympics. The U.S. skiing star capped off her experience at the Games with a silver medal in the 30km mass start freestyle to become the first non-European woman to ever win a medal in the 30km mass start event.
Diggins won bronze in the women's sprint free on Feb. 8 to secure her first individual Olympic medal and the United States’ first-ever women’s individual cross-country medal. Diggins' road to success was not easy. She went face to face with big names in cross-country like sprint unit Jonna Sundling of Sweden, the number one overall World Cup champion Natalya Nepryeyva of ROC and Norway’s Therese Johaug who won the first gold medal at the 2022 Games. This was Johaug's final Olympic appearance.
Johaug’s compatriot on the men’s team, Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, proved he still had the sprint magic he came into the 2018 Games with. Klaebo earned two more gold medals at these Games and beat longtime rival Alexander Bolshunov of the ROC in two occasions -- the team sprint and sprint free. Bolshunov won gold in the men’s skiathlon and ended his 2022 Olympic experience with gold in the men’s 50km mass start that was shortened to 30km to “reduce the time of exposure of athletes in extreme conditions.” Bolshunov is the only athlete to ever win five cross-country skiing medals at a single edition of the Winter Olympics. Finland’s Iivo Niskanen did not make an appearance in the men’s mass start where he won gold four years ago in PyeongChang. Instead, he found it in the 15km individual classic race.
For all the cross-country skiing action at the 2022 Winter Olympics, scroll down for event summaries, recaps and highlights.
Medal table (M+W)
Women's event summaries
Women’s 7.5km+7.5km skiathlon
The first gold medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics was awarded to Therese Johaug of Norway. The most decorated nation in the history of the Winter Games claimed another gold medal with Johaug’s final time of 44:13.7 in the women’s skiathlon. Jessie Diggins finished the women’s skiathlon in sixth. Teammate Rosie Brennan finished in 14th place.
🥇 Therese Johaug, NOR, 44:13.7
🥈 Natalya Nepryayeva, ROC, 44:43.9
🥉 Teresa Stadlober, AUT, 44:44.2
Women’s sprint free final
Jessie Diggins dug deep to secure bronze for the United States. This win solidified the first ever women’s individual cross-country sprint medal for the United States at the Olympic Games. Diggins crossed the finish line in full tilt with a final time of 3:12.84. Reigning world champion in this event Jonna Sundling of Sweden took Olympic gold with 3:09.68 and a significant lead in the second half of the final. American Rosie Brennan took fourth.
🥇 Jonna Sundling, SWE, 3:09.68
🥈 Maja Dahlqvist, SWE, 3:12.56
🥉 Jessie Diggins, USA, 3:12.84
Women's 10km classic
Norway’s Therese Johaug maintained a high cadence and long strides to earn her second gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics in the women’s 10km classic. Throughout the two laps of 5km, Johaug had nothing left to give after completing the race with a time of 28:06.3. Her aggression on the starts and finishes was where she blocked out her fiercest competitor, Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen. Niskanen was looking to clinch her first individual Olympic gold medal, but came short, less than half a second outside Johaug. She finished in second place at 28:06.7 and compatriot Krista Parmakoski, followed closely behind and took the final step on the podium with a time of 28:37.8.
🥇 Therese Johaug, NOR, 28:06.3
🥈 Kerttu Niskanen, FIN, 28:06.7
🥉 Krista Parmakoski, FIN, 28:37.8
Women’s 4x5km relay
Veronika Stepanova of the ROC anchored the last leg to snatch gold out of the grasp of Germany. Stepanova crossed the finish line at 53:41.0. Germany’s Sofie Krehl followed close behind. Krehl solidified silver for Germany with a time of 53:59.2. Their silver medal finish is the German’s first cross country medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
🥇 Russian Olympic Committee, ROC, 53:41.0
🥈 Germany, GER, 53:59.2
🥉 Sweden, SWE, 54:01.7
Women’s team sprint classic final
Victoria Carl blazed down the straight and took the gold with an incredible double-polled finish. She completed the six lap race with Katharina Hennig and capped the team’s time at 22:09.85. Carl was originally not part of the German relay lineup. She was put in at the last minute for compatriot Katherine Sauerbrey when she did not feel race ready under the accumulation of stress from competing. American Jessie Diggins anchored the final lap to bring the U.S. team a fifth place finish at 22:22.78.
🥇 Germany, GER, 22:09.85
🥈 Sweden, SWE, 22:10.02
🥉 Russian Olympic Committee, ROC, 22:10.56
Women’s 30km mass start free
Jessie Diggins broke through the “pain cave” when her body told her to stop and her mind said no. She crossed the finish line in full tilt with nothing left to give at 1:26:37.3 to become the first non-European athlete to win a medal in the women’s 30km mass start event. Diggins’ silver medal victory completed the feat of earning a sprint medal and distance medal at the same Winter Olympics. She wouldn't let Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen catch her to steal silver. Diggins’ freestyle strides had strength and determination in each glide and kept Niskanen at bay with bronze at 1:27:27.3. The gold medalist of the mass start race was Norway’s Therese Johaug. She kept herself safely out of reach of competitors to win her second individual Olympic gold medal and finished the race at 1:24:54.0.
🥇 Therese Johaug, NOR, 1:24:54.0
🥈 Jessie Diggins, USA, 1:26.37.3
🥉 Kerttu Niskanen, FIN, 1:27:27.3
Men's event summaries
Men’s 15km + 15km skiathlon
ROC’s cross-country skiers Alexander Bolshunov and Denis Spitsov take the top two spots of the podium. Despite a crash in the beginning of the race, Bolshunov lived up to expectations and finally got his first gold Olympic medal with a time of 1:16:09.8. More than over a minute behind him, his teammate Spitsov crossed the finish line at 1:17:20.8 to win his third silver Olympic medal. Finland’s Iivo Niskanen takes bronze. Individual pre-race favorites like Norway’s cross-country skiing icon Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo found himself completing the race in 40th place and dropped off the pack quickly. No Norwegians made it onto the podium.
🥇 Alexander Bolshunov, ROC, 1:16:09.8
🥈 Denis Spitsov, ROC, 1:17:20.8
🥉Iivo Niskanen, FIN, 1:18.10.0
Men’s sprint free final
Norway's Johannes Klaebo took home the gold medal. Klaebo made the most of the absence of recently-crowned skiathlon champion Alexander Bolshunov to grab his first gold of the Games, with Italian Federico Pellegrino taking silver and Alexander Terentev claiming the bronze for the Russian Olympic Committee.
🥇 Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, NOR, 2:58.06
🥈 Federico Pellegrino, ITA, 2:58.32
🥉 Alexander Terentev, ROC, 2:59.37
Men’s 15km classic
Arguably the greatest classic skier of this modern era, Iivo Niskanen of Finland completed the two laps of the 4.5 miles course in lightning time and took gold. Niskanen raced against the clock and put up a solid early split to push the pace of competitors. He crossed the finish line at 37:54.8. Despite slipping twice on the course, Bolshunov took silver at 38:18.0 and Klaebo finished behind him earning bronze with a time of 38:32.3. This was both their third medal earned at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
🥇 Iivo Niskanen, FIN, 37:54.8
🥈 Alexander Bolshunov, ROC, 38:18.0
🥉 Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, NOR, 38:32.3
Men’s 4x10km relay
ROC’s team of Alexey Chervotkin, Alexander Bolshunov, Denis Spitsov and Sergey Ustiugov made history winning the men’s 4x10km relay team with a time of 1:54:50.7. This was the first time the ROC won gold in the men’s 4x10km relay since 1980 in Lake Placid when they were entered under the Soviet Union. The Norwegian team ended the relay with silver at 1:55:57.9. France’s relay team finished the race at 1:56:07.1.
🥇 Russian Olympic Committee, ROC, 1:54:50.7
🥈 Norway, NOR, 1:55:57.9
🥉 France, FRA, 1:56:07.1
Men’s team sprint classic final
The Norwegian team of Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo and Erik Valnes solidified their Olympic gold at 19:22.99 to beat out competitors like Finland’s Iivo Niskanen and ROC’s Alexander Bolshunov. Finland’s Joni Maki upset ROC’s Alexander Terentev in the final sprint and crossed the line at 19:25.45 to take silver. Terentev followed close behind at 19:27.28 and won bronze.
🥇 Norway, NOR, 19:22.99
🥈 Finland, FIN, 19:25.45
🥉 Russian Olympic Committee, ROC, 19:27.28
Men’s 50km mass start free
ROC’s Alexander Bolshunov won his ninth Olympic career medal at 1:11:32.7 and added another layer to his Olympic legacy. He made history as the first male cross-country skier to win five Olympic medals in a single edition of the Winter Olympics. Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo did not finish the race and walked off the course in the middle of his third lap. Bolshunov’s compatriot Ivan Yakimushkin won his first Olympic medal at 1:11:38.2 to clinch silver. Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger took bronze 7.0 seconds after Bolshunov.
🥇 Alexander Bolshunov, ROC, 1:11:32.7
🥈 Ivan Yakimushkin, ROC, 1:11:38.2
🥉 Simen Hegstad Krueger, NOR, 1:11:39.7