Norway's Bjoergen becomes most successful Winter Olympian

Bjoergen's bronze took her past fellow Norwegian cross country great Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.

Norway's Marit Bjoergen - 14 medals - became the most successful athlete in Winter Olympics history.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Norway's Marit Bjoergen became the most successful athlete in Winter Olympics history on Wednesday as she took bronze behind a stunning win for U.S.A in the women's cross country team sprint free.

Bjoergen's bronze with the Norway team put her on 14 Olympic medals, outstripping fellow Norwegian cross country great Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who has 13 in biathlon.

"It's hard to understand, actually," Bjoergen said.

"I think I'll need to have time to myself and look behind me and look how I've been able to do this. It's still hard to understand it when I'm standing here."

Bjoergen, 37, is also the second most successful woman at either the Summer or Winter Games, trailing only Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina with 18 medals.

Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins celebrated ecstatically as they edged Sweden by 0.19sec to win the first Olympic cross-country title for the United States.

Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo won the men's title by 1.71sec ahead of the Olympic Athletes from Russia, with France finishing third.