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Bjoergen now most decorated Winter Olympian, U.S. makes history in skiing

By Xinhua
Bjoergen now most decorated Winter Olympian, U.S. makes history in skiing
Marit Bjoergen of Norway smiles after winning the bronze medal Wednesday in the women's team sprint free final at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, northeastern South Korea. Photo by Yonhap News Agency.

Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Norway's cross-country skiing legend Marit Bjoergen broke the all-time record for most Winter Olympic medals as she took a bronze Wednesday from the women's team sprint free event at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The 37-year-old and Maiken Caspersen Falla finished in 15 minutes and 59.44 seconds, 2.97 seconds more than that of American duo of Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall, who won the U.S. first ever Olympic cross country gold.

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The 14th medal put Bjoergen ahead of fellow countryman and biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.

"It's hard to understand, actually," Bjoergen said of her achievement as the most decorated Winter Olympian.

"When you're still an athlete you just have focus on other races. I think I'll need to have time to myself and look behind me and look how I've been able to do this. It's still hard to understand it when I'm standing here," she said.

"If someone told me (in 2002) I would be standing here, that I would still be skiing here, I would have thought it was not possible. But I am here and still fighting for medals. Of course I am proud of myself," she added.

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Randall won her first Olympic medal in her 18th event, setting a new record for most events before claiming a medal.

Sweden's Charlotte Kalla and Stina Nilsson took the silver, finishing 19 hundredths of a second adrift.

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