Minnesota hometown of medalist Diggins plans royal welcome

United States' Jessica Diggins, left, and Kikkan Randall celebrate after winning the gold medal in the women's team sprint freestyle cross-country skiing final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

AFTON, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota hometown of Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins is planning a royal welcome for whenever she comes home.

Diggins grew up in Afton and is a graduate of Stillwater Area High School. She won the United States' first-ever cross-country skiing Olympic gold medal on Wednesday.

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 says 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.

Duluth is holding a community celebration to honor Twin Ports Olympians.

The city says members of the U.S. women's and men's curling teams, cross-country skiing coach Chad Salmela and other Olympic team representatives will attend Tuesday's event at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. with the program to commence at 5:00 p.m.

The athletes will enter under a canopy of curling brooms.

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson and Superior, Wisconsin Mayor Jim Paine will present a proclamation. Attendees will also have a chance to hear from the Olympic athletes.

Parking will be free until 6 p.m.

The Olympians will arrive home to cheering family, friends, and fans Monday at 5 p.m. at the Duluth International Airport and will be escorted out by Duluth and Superior police.