Afton cross-country skier Jessie Diggins earned a second-place finish in a 20k freestyle World Cup race in Ruka, Finland, on Sunday, with the Olympic gold medalist finishing the race in frigid temperatures with blood on her face and one hand without a glove.
At the start of the final lap, Diggins lost her right pole — and her glove along with it — and began searching for another. While getting handed a new pole, she was hit in the face by the spare, resulting in a bloody lip and cheek.
Despite the final-lap chaos, Diggins finished only .3 seconds behind Moa Ilar of Sweden, who won the race in 55 minutes, 40.8 seconds. Fellow American Rosie Brennan finished third, 1.1 seconds behind Diggins.
"I had to dig really, really deep for that one," Diggins said. "I lost a pole and my glove with it with about 1.5k left to go. I quickly got a replacement pole — that ended up smashing me in the face, which resulted in me having a pretty bloody mouth, but I finished the race!"