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Newell: USA cross-country ready to break 42-year drought

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) It's been 42 years since the United States won a medal in cross-country skiing.

The four-time Olympian sprint specialist said he is so confident in how far the Americans have come in cross-country that it would "disappointing" if they don't come home with any hardware from the Pyeongchang Games.

For an American to even suggest that it would be disappointing to not win an Olympic medal in a sport largely dominated by Europeans is a fairly bold claim.

Jessie Diggins, Sophie Caldwell and Sadie Bjornsen are considered strong contenders on the women's side, while Simi Hamilton and Newell could be the best medal hopes for the men.

Diggins won the final World Cup race before the Olympics and ranks third in the standings.

Hamilton, in his third Olympics, has had several top-10 finishes on the World Cup circuit and, like many American cross-country skiers, is looking to break through at the Pyeongchang Games.

Athletes attend a training session at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.


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Newell: USA cross-country ready to break 42-year drought


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