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Haga wins gold, Bjorgen ties for bronze as Norway shines in women's individual

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For Norwegian cross-country skiing, Thursday will be a night of celebration.

Ragnhild Haga captured the gold medal and Marit Bjorgen took home the bronze medal as two Norwegians reached the podium in the women's 10km individual at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea.

"It is wild," Haga said. "When Ragnhild Mowinckel won silver (in the women's giant slalom), we decided that today is Ragnhild-day. That was really inspiring.

"When I started the last downhill, I was thinking that, 'This is the most important downhill of your life. You better stay on your feet.' I gave it all I had because I feared that (Charlotte) Kalla would go even faster in the end of ther race. The way I grabbed this opportunity, wow I am truly satisfied with myself."

It was a four-skier podium, as Finland skier Krista Parmakoski finished with the same time as Bjorgen — 25 minutes, 32.4 seconds. Charlotte Kalla, of Sweden, earned her second medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Games with a silver.

Bjorgen's bronze medal is her 12th career Olympic medal, moving her into a tie with fellow Norwegian skier Bjoern Daehlie for the most Olympic cross-country medals of all-time.

With one more medal, Bjorgen will tie Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen as the most decorated Winter Olympian ever. She's already the most decorated female Winter Olympian.

"I don't think about that now," Bjorgen said. "I'm just focused on each race and I think I have to look behind me after the Olympics and see how many medals I have.

"I thought I was out of the podium today, but I had a good finish, so I'm very happy with that and it's the first time we are four on the podium, so that's exciting too."

Haga's gold is her first Olympic medal, and Norway now has eight cross-country medals at the PyeongChang Games.

Parmakoski's silver is her second medal of these Olympics as well. She won the bronze medal in the women's skiathlon Saturday.

For Parmakoski, sharing a medal with Bjorgen doesn't faze her.

"Marit is one of my idols," Parmakoski said. "When I was a young girl, so it's nice to be fighting together with her. It's a feeling that is so amazing."

Team USA remains without a medal in women's cross-country skiing and their 42-year Olympic overall medal drought in the sport remains intact, but it was another impressive showing from Jessie Diggins.

Diggins placed in fifth place of the individual event, finishing in 25 minutes, 35.7 seconds.

Cross-country skiing gets right back at it Friday with the men's 15km individual.

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