Afton's Jessie Diggins carries U.S. flag in Olympic closing ceremonies

Jessie Diggins carries flag at 2018 Winter Olympic Games closing ceremony
Flag bearer Jessica Diggins of Afton with Team USA participates in the Parade of Athletes during the Closing Ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 25, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
Andreas Rentz | Getty Images

Afton native Jessie Diggins carried the U.S. flag Sunday during the closing ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Diggins was honored as flag bearer after she and her teammate Kikkan Randall won a historic gold medal in the women's cross-country team sprint. It was the second medal ever won by the American team in cross-country - the last was a silver medal won by Bill Koch in 1976.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Afton business owners and residents are already planning to honor their hometown hero. City Council member Bill Palmquist said the city will declare a "Jessie Diggins Day" once a date can be arranged.

Rebecca Nickerson, owner of Selma's Ice Cream Parlor, plans to release a special ice cream flavor or two. They might be called "Diggin' for Gold" or "Diggin' in for Jessie Diggins."

Dozens of yard signs cheering Diggins on have sprung up across Afton.

At the closing ceremony in Pyeongchang, the president of the International Olympic Committee declared the Pyeongchang Games closed, marking the end of this year's Winter Olympics.

Thomas Bach made the declaration during closing ceremonies held before tens of thousands on the eastern end of the Korean Peninsula. As part of the ceremony, Bach handed off the Olympic flag to the mayor of Beijing, which will host the Winter Games in 2022. The handover of the Olympic flag from one host city to the next was followed by a high-tech lightshow where illuminated giant pandas and dancers skated around the Olympic Stadium

During the closing ceremonies, the South Korean president's office announced that a North Korean delegate had said Pyongyang is willing to hold talks with the U.S.

The ceremonies closed with a performance by popular South Korean-Chinese boy band EXO. Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva, who won the silver medal in women's figure skating Friday, is a big fan of the group. She wrote on Instagram that she had her "dreams come true" by meeting members of EXO.

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