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Kalla wins, Bjoergen makes history at Winter Olympics
11 February 2018, 01:40 | Pamela Mathis
Source 12 News
She could surpass the overall medal record held by compatriot Ole Einar Bjorndalen, who has won 13 medals, during the rest of the cross-country skiing events at Pyeongchang.
For the women's 15-kilometer cross-country skiathlon, with its first half in the classical style and its second half in the freestyle and its usual inhumane upslopes for both styles, Sweden's Charlotte Kalla, 30, fulfilled her wish to upgrade from the silver medal she got in Sochi in 2014.
Charlotte Kalla won the first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Games a few hours before Lim Hyo-jun earned host country South Korea its first gold.
Jessie Diggins finished in fifth place, completing the race in 40 minutes, 59.6 seconds.
Gold medals will also be decided Saturday in speed skating, short-track speed skating, ski jumping and biathlon. One goal of the International Olympic Committee is to attract a younger audience.
Granath had no need to worry as Kalla was never in danger of being reeled in by Bjoergen, whose silver made her the first woman to win 11 medals at the Olympic Winter Games. The Norwegian won her 11th career medal to break a tie with Raisa Smetanina of Russian Federation and Stefania Belmondo of Italy. Bjoergen thrust her arms up in the air as she crossed the finish, knowing she'd made history in what she said will be her last Olympics.
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The Swedish coach was also pleased with the performances of 20-year-old Ebba Andersson, who came fourth, and Stina Nilsson, who finished in tenth spot, and said that Kalla's win would lift the whole team.
51Fifty-one-year-old Canadian curler Cheryl Bernard is the oldest athlete registered for Pyeongchang, but because she is an alternate, she might not compete.
Twelve North Korean hockey players have been drafted in to the South Korean squad to form the unified team but they are not expected to progress in the tournament despite the vocal support from North Korea's all-female band of cheerleaders. The United States is represented by 108 women and 134 men, competing in seven sports.
1,218 The Olympic rings were formed during the opening ceremony reportedly using 1,218 drones.
"It give us an incredible energy in our cross-country camp, and really for the whole Olympic team".
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