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Sweden’s Moa Lundgren said she was feeling confident when she skied the final of the ladies’ cross-country cross free in three minutes 26.35 seconds at Birkebeineren Cross-Country Stadium to become the event’s first ever gold medallist.
On a 1.5km course featuring bumps, hills, drops and even an uphill slalom, the Swede topped both the qualification and the semi-final, showing her good form.
“I had great preparation before the race, so I was in good shape before the start,” she said. “I have practised a lot on this track in the last two days.”
Moa, who finished +1.74 ahead of her teammate and friend Johanna Hagstroem, said that she “had a good feeling about the race” and that “every step I took I felt like I was going to win. I just wanted to get first over the finish line. When I was at the start line I just felt the power; thought ‘I can do this’.”
The 17-year-old, who explained that the gold medal “means the world” to her, said she likes the new event, which was introduced at these Games. “It’s really fun because it’s something new, something different, otherwise you just go into the woods and come back. This is a little bit more fun, to do something like ski and jump.”
Hagstroem was as excited with her silver medal as with sharing the podium with a good friend.
"It felt amazing to take a silver medal in the first competition here. I dreamed about this day since I was little,” she said. "It feels so great, it is unbelievable. My best friend and I won and we are so close. It's simply amazing.”
Laura Chamiot Maitral, of France, who took bronze after finishing the race in 3:29.56, said she felt like she was “in a dream right now”.
Written by YIS / IOC EMMA LUPANO with IOC Young Reporter Emily Bayci
Emma Lupano is a reporter for the Lillehammer Youth Information Service ‘YIS’. Milan-based Emma has worked at the last five Olympic Games and also covered the Innsbruck 2012 and Nanjing 2014 YOGs.