Swedish cross-country skier Charlotte Kalla won the first gold in the first medal event of the Winter Olympics on Saturday.
Kalla won the women’s 15-kilometer skiathlon with almost eight seconds. With about 1.9 miles left, Kalla got a burst of energy that no one else even had the change of catching up to.
– I’ve looked forward to this for a long time and I’ve prepared for this for many many years. I really managed to give it my all today. I’m incredibly proud and satisfied, she said to Sportbladet.
The medal win was Kalla’s sixth Olympic medal, equalling Anja Pärson’s record for the most Winter Olympic medals among Swedish women.
The Norwegian skier, Marit Björgen, came in second place several moments after the speedy Kalla. “It feels very good to be ahead of Marit,” she said to The Detroit News. “She’s a fantastic skier.”
Kalla is one of Sweden’s most decorated athletes, with more championship medals (18) than the Swedish “ski king” Gunde Svan.
– It’s hard to believe. It’s crazy to even be mentioned in the same sentence as them. It’s hard to believe that I have as many medals as I do, the Olympic star told Sportbladet.
Her win also made her the first Swedish woman to win three Winter Olympic gold, as well as tying he with the Swedish canoer Agneta Andersson for the female Swede with most Olympic gold medals overall.