(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Clay Diggins and his wife Deb were on a mission Wednesday night as he and his family made their way out of the Alpensia Cross-Country Ski Center in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“We’re looking for some champagne,” he said with a laugh. “There has to be some champagne here (in Pyeongchang).”
You can’t blame them for being in a celebratory mood.
Caught up with Jessica Diggins parents, her sister and boyfriend. They were pumped over the gold medal victory in cross-country. “This was the race we came for, “ her dad said of the team sprint. @AP_Sports pic.twitter.com/XmDBN8ccJt
— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) February 21, 2018
The Diggins _ and all Americans _ had something to revel in after his daughter Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall teamed up to give the United States their first Olympic gold medal ever in cross-country skiing in the team sprint. The Americans edged out Sweden and Norway in a dramatic come-from-behind finish.
It was the first medal in cross-country skiing for the Americans since 1976 _ and the first of any kind for the women’s team.
“I don’t think we’re going to sleep at all,” said Diggins’ mother Deb.
It didn’t matter that Diggins support system, which also included their other daughter Mackenzie and Jessica’s boyfriend Wade Poplawski, had a flight to catch back to Afton, Minnesota on Thursday.
The Diggins immeasurable pride was evident in their voices after a brilliant night for the Americans. Clay Diggins said this was the race they came to see, figuring it was the best chance at a medal.
He never dreamed it would be gold.
“We would have taken any color,” he said. “But to see it all happen in the last 300 meters, that was pure determination. That is what you saw. You saw pure guts.”
“Oh my gosh — did we just win the Olympics?!?!” pic.twitter.com/jAqmGiWzsX
— U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team (@usskiteam) February 21, 2018
Deb Diggins said her daughter always tries hard, but that she competes even harder when it’s a relay because she never wants to let down her teammates.
“It’s a huge victory for the team and the reason they can dig deep is because they are all so close and they have worked so hard together,” She said. “She always seems to find that extra gear.”
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) February 21, 2018
Clay Diggins said he’s excited to see what the impact of the gold medal will have on the sport back in the United States.
“All of a sudden there is going to be a lot more people that want to get involved in skiing _ so we are pumped about that,” he said.
But for now, it was time to celebrate.
“We can sleep on the plane,” Deb Diggins said with a laugh.