Sweden’s Kalla Wins 1st Gold at Olympics

Charlotte Kalla of Sweden celebrates Saturday after winning the women's 7.5km /7.5km skiathlon cross-country skiing competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Photo: Matthias Schrader / Associated Press
Charlotte Kalla of Sweden celebrates Saturday after winning the women's 7.5km /7.5km skiathlon cross-country skiing competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Photo: Matthias Schrader / Associated Press

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Charlotte Kalla of Sweden won the first medal of the Pyeongchang Games on Saturday and Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen took silver in the women’s 15-kilometer skiathlon to become the most decorated female Winter Olympian ever.

Bjoergen captured her 11th career medal, breaking a three-way tie with Raisa Smetanina of Russia and Stefania Belmondo of Italy.

Kalla won the race by more than seven seconds, breaking away from the pack in the final 2 kilometers to avenge her loss to Bjoergen at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

But the 37-year-old Bjoergen, who won three gold medals in Vancouver in 2010 and three more in Sochi, proved she’s still a dominant figure in the sport despite entering the competition ranked seventh in the world in the event.

Krista Parmakowski of Finland was third and Jessica Diggins finished fifth, missing a chance to become the first American woman to earn a medal in cross-country skiing.