Teammates react to Diggins’ and Randall’s historic gold

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In case you missed it in the very early hours on Wednesday, Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall made history for the United States as they became the first to win an Olympic gold medal – and a medal of any color – in women’s cross-country. This was also the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the United States for a man or woman, and the first medal in the sport for the USA in 42 years.

Randall and Diggins were in the leading pack the entire race when, in the final corner of the last leg, Sweden’s Stina Nilsson attempted to break away from Diggins and Norway’s Maiken Falla. Diggins, the only athlete of the three to not have won an Olympic medal in the women’s individual sprint, out-chased both of her more decorated adversaries to win the women’s relay by half a ski length.

If you’ve watched cross-country during this fortnight, you would realize that perhaps no other competitors are as sunny as Diggins and Randall. Just a couple days ago Diggins took to Instagram with a quote ending in the words “Enjoy it.” No one seemed to enjoy the relay half as much as the face-painted American pair, and it was that enthusiasm that they used to carry themselves over the finish line.

News of Diggins’ and Randall’s historic achievement quickly spread, and cross-country teammate Sadie Bjornsen was one of the first to congratulate the duo.

Fellow cross-country teammate Sophie Caldwell also couldn’t contain her excitement for Diggins and Randall.

Lindsey Vonn, who made her own history on Wednesday evening by becoming the oldest woman to win the downhill, also congratulated the skiers.

Vonn wasn’t the only Olympic medalist to offer her congratulations, though. 2006 gold medalist and former alpine skier Julia Mancuso, as well as 2018 bronze medalist Maia Shibutani also joined in.

Click here to watch Diggins’ and Randall’s historic feat

Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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Mo Farah likely to retire this year

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah will likely retire by the end of this year.

“I’m not going to go to the Olympics, and I think 2023 will probably be my last year,” the 39-year-old Farah said, according to multiple British media reports.

Farah, who swept the 5000m and 10,000m golds at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, was announced Tuesday as part of the field for the London Marathon on April 23.

Last May, Farah reportedly said he believed his career on the track was over, but not the roads.

London might not be his last marathon. Farah also said that if, toward the end of this year, he was capable of being picked to run for Britain again, he would “never turn that down,” according to Tuesday’s reports.

It’s not clear if Farah was referencing the world track and field championships, which include a marathon and are in Budapest in August. Or selection for the 2024 British Olympic marathon team.

The fastest British male marathoner last year ran 2:10:46, ranking outside the top 300 in the world. Farah broke 2:10 in all five marathons that he’s finished, but he hasn’t run one since October 2019 (aside from pacing the 2020 London Marathon).

Farah withdrew four days before the last London Marathon on Oct. 2, citing a right hip injury.

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah’s best London Marathon finish in four starts was third place in 2018.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

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