Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall of the US celebrate. It is just the second Olympic cross-country medal won by an American. "I feel that it's also special that Kikkan is there, who also started her Olympic [career] in Salt Lake with me". Randall is a five-time Olympian who, along with Diggins, won the U.S.'s first world championship gold medal in the women's team sprint in 2013.
Diggins, ranked third in the world, also has three fifth-place finishes and one sixth in PyeongChang.
Randall and Diggins join Bill Koch as the only Americans to win Olympic medals in the sport. Randall, competing in her fifth Olympics, was on the 4×5-kilometer relay team that finished fifth.
This story will be updated.
With just a few meters to the finish, Diggins out sprints Nilsson, earning gold by two tenths of a second.
Randall, who was on edge watching the final lap, said, "I felt like Charlotte Kalla [of Sweden] and I had a screaming match".
The pairing of Diggins, 26, and Randall, 35, proved a winning combination.
They beat runner-up Sweden.
"I am very proud of our performance, I was really digging deep today to get the power over the last 100 meters, but today United States of America was too strong and I really think they deserve the gold medal", Nilsson said.
The race paired Diggins, who has won more world championship medals than any USA cross-country skier in history, with Randall, the veteran whose success made the Americans contenders after years of futility.