Kikkan Randall

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Kikkan Randall
Kikkan Randall.jpg
Kikkan Randall after winning the Stockholm Royal Palace Sprint in March 2013
Full name Kikkan Randall
Born (1982-12-31) December 31, 1982 (age 35)
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Height 5 ft 5 in (165 cm)
Ski club Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center
World Cup career
Seasons 2001–
Individual wins 13
Indiv. podiums 29
Overall titles 0 (3rd in 2012–13)
Discipline titles 3 – (3 SP, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14)

Kikkan Randall (born December 31, 1982) is an American, Olympic champion cross-country skier. She has won 17 U.S. National titles, taken home 17 U.S. Championships, made 16 podiums in the Stage World Cup, made five trips to the Winter Olympic Games and had the highest finish by an individual U.S. woman at the World Championships (2nd in the Sprint FS at Liberec, CZE in 2009).[1] She was the first American female cross-country skier to take a top ten finish in World Cup competition, to win a World Cup race and to win a World Cup discipline title.[2] She won the silver medal in the individual sprint at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 in Liberec, becoming the first American woman to win a medal in cross country skiing at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, and in 2013 teamed up with Jessica Diggins to win the first ever American FIS Nordic World Ski Championships gold medal in the team sprint. She and Diggins won the United States' first ever cross-country skiing gold medal at the Winter Olympics in women's team sprint at Pyeongchang in 2018.

Early years[edit]

Randall's parents, Ronn and Deborah (née Haines) originally met at a California ski resort. Kikkan's name was the result of a compromise between her parents: her father wanted to name her Kikki, after Kiki Cutter, the first American to win a race on the Alpine Skiing World Cup, whilst her mother wanted to name her Meghan. Ronn started teaching Kikkan to ski one day after her first birthday.[3] She is the niece of former cross-country skiing Olympians Betsy Haines (1980) and Chris Haines (1976).

Randall lived in Salt Lake while her mother attended law school at the University of Utah. In the mid-1980s, she moved to Anchorage, Alaska with her parents, where her younger siblings, Tanner and Kalli were born. Originally she had ambitions to race as an alpine skier, as well as to run for a NCAA Division I college.[4] She ran a 6:06 minute mile in sixth grade at Scenic Park Elementary. Randall won 10 state titles at East Anchorage High School — seven in track and three in cross-country running. She is the last Alaskan state speed-skiing champion. Randall took up cross-country skiing in 1998, when her track coach suggested using it as a means of keeping fit during the winter.[4]

Skiing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

After graduating from high school, Randall moved to Utah to train with the United States Ski Team, but returned to Alaska due to homesickness.[3] Her sixth-place finish in the sprint at the 2001 Junior World Championships was the best ever result by an American woman. Randall made her Olympic debut as a 19-year-old at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and finished 44th in the inaugural Olympic individual sprint. In January 2006, Randall returned to Soldier Hollow, Utah, the site of the 2002 Olympic cross-country competition, and won national titles in the 5-kilometer freestyle, the 10-km classical and the sprint. At the 2005 World Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany, she finished 30th in the individual sprint.

2006–2011[edit]

At the 2006 Winter Olympics, Randall finished ninth in the Olympic Sprint, the best ever Olympic result in cross-country skiing by an American woman. Shortly thereafter, she finished fifth in a World Cup sprint. On January 21, 2007, she captured bronze in the women's 1.2-kilometer sprint in Rybinsk, Russia, the best ever cross-country World Cup result by an American woman. Later that calendar year, in the following season, she took the first World Cup win for an American female skier since the introduction of women's competition in 1978 in another 1.2 kilometre sprint at the same venue.[3]

In February 2009, Randall won the silver medal in the 1.3-kilometer sprint at the Nordic Skiing World Championships - the first American cross-country skier to take a World Championship medal since Bill Koch in 1982.[3] In January 2010, Randall qualified for the 2010 Winter Olympics, where she earned a US best finish of sixth in the team sprint and her best individual finish of eighth in the individual sprint event. In the 2010-11 season, she finished third in the Sprint World Cup standings.[5]

2011–2012[edit]

Randall became the first American woman to win a World Cup discipline title in cross-country by topping the season's Sprint standings. Her season included wins in the World Cup freestyle sprints in Düsseldorf and Davos. She also finished fifth in the Overall World Cup that season.[5]

2012–2013[edit]

Randall in 2012

Randall won four World Cup freestyle sprint events, in Quebec, Val Mustair, Sochi, and Lahti. She also won the 3 km freestyle prologue of the Tour de Ski in Oberhof. She won a team freestyle sprint in Quebec with teammate Jessica Diggins. Randall finished first in the final World Cup sprint standings and third in the overall standings. Third place is the highest ever by a U.S. woman.[6] Randall, with Diggins, won the first-ever team sprint gold for U.S. women at the World Ski Championships.[7]

2013–2014[edit]

Randall qualified for the U.S. Olympic team at Sochi, and went into the 2014 Winter Olympics as heavily favored to win the USA's first medal in cross-country skiing since 1976,[8] but missed qualifying to advance in the sprint quarterfinals by .05 of a second.[9] Subsequently, she suggested that her focus on peaking for the Olympics was disrupted by a back injury which she sustained whilst training in Davos in December 2013.[8]

Randall topped the overall World Cup sprint standings for a third time. She won the World Cup freestyle sprint events in Nove Mesto, Szklarska Poreba, and Lahti.

2014–2015[edit]

Randall placed 3rd in the Lahti freestyle sprint.

In October 2015 Randall announced that she was expecting her first child in April, and would take a break from competition in the 2015-16 season before returning in 2016-17 with a focus on the 2017 World Championships in Lahti and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.[10]

2016-2017[edit]

Upon returning to competition, Randall initially struggled, failing to advance beyond qualifying in the first two World Cup Sprint competitions of the season.[11] However she was able to make steady progress, and in January 2017 finished fifth in a World Cup Sprint in Falun, Sweden - her best result in nearly two years.[12] Subsequently at the 2017 World Nordic Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland, Randall took the bronze medal in the freestyle sprint, catching Hanna Falk in the last 100 metres to pip her for third place by 0.1 seconds, one place behind team-mate Diggins in second.[11]

2017-2018[edit]

In December 2017 Randall took her first World Cup podium finish in almost three years when she finished third in a sprint in Davos, Switzerland.[13]

During the 2018 Winter Olympics, she and Jessie Diggins became the first American cross-country skiers to win a gold medal by winning the women's team sprint at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea.[14]

World Cup results[edit]

All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS).[15]

Season titles[edit]

  • 3 titles – (3 sprint)
Season
Discipline
2012 Sprint
2013 Sprint
2014 Sprint

Individual podiums[edit]

  • 13 victories – (11 WC, 2 SWC)
  • 29 podiums – (22 WC, 7 SWC)
No. Season Date Location Race Level Place
1  2006–07  21 January 2007 Russia Rybinsk, Russia 1.2 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
2 2007–08 16 December 2007 Russia Rybinsk, Russia 1.2 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
3  2009–10  14 March 2010 Norway Oslo, Norway 1.0 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
4  2010–11  4 December 2010 Germany Düsseldorf, Germany 0.9 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
5 12 December 2010 Switzerland Davos, Switzerland 1.4 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
6 15 January 2011 Czech Republic Liberec, Czech Republic 1.3 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
7 20 February 2011 Norway Drammen, Norway 1.2 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
8 2011–12 3 December 2011 Germany Düsseldorf, Germany 0.9 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
9 11 December 2011 Switzerland Davos, Switzerland 1.5 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
10 4 January 2012 Italy Toblach, Italy 1.3 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 2nd
11 14 January 2012 Italy Milan, Italy 1.4 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
12 17 February 2012 Poland Szklarska Poręba, Poland 1.6 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
13  2012–13  24 November 2012 Sweden Gällivare, Sweden 10 km Individual F World Cup 3rd
14 17 February 2012 Finland Kuusamo, Finland 5 km Individual F Stage World Cup 2nd
15 8 December 2012 Canada Quebec City, Canada 1.6 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
16 15 December 2012 Canada Canmore, Canada 1.3 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
17 29 December 2012 Germany Oberhof, Germany 3 km Individual F Stage World Cup 1st
18 1 January 2013 Switzerland Val Müstair, Switzerland 1.4 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 1st
19 1 February 2013 Russia Sochi, Russia 1.25 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
20 9 March 2013 Finland Lahti, Finland 1.55 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
21 22 March 2013 Sweden Falun, Sweden 2.5 km Individual F Stage World Cup 2nd
22 24 March 2013 Sweden Falun, Sweden 10 km Pursuit F Stage World Cup 2nd
23  2013–14  29 November 2013 Finland Kuusamo, Finland 1.4 km Sprint C Stage World Cup 2nd
24 15 December 2013 Switzerland Davos, Switzerland 1.5 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
25 11 January 2014 Czech Republic Nové Město, Czech Republic 1.3 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
26 18 January 2014 Poland Szklarska Poręba, Poland 1.5 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
27 1 March 2014 Finland Lahti, Finland 1.55 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
28  2014–15  7 March 2015 Finland Lahti, Finland 1.5 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
29  2017–18  9 December 2017 Switzerland Davos, Switzerland 1.5 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd

Team podiums[edit]

  • 1 victory – (1 TS)
  • 5 podiums – (2 RL, 3 TS)
No. Season Date Location Race Level Place Teammate(s)
1  2011–12  4 December 2011 Germany Düsseldorf, Germany 6 × 0.9 km Team Sprint F World Cup 2nd Bjornsen
2 15 January 2012 Italy Milan, Italy 6 × 0.9 km Team Sprint F World Cup 2nd Diggins
3  2012–13  25 November 2012 Sweden Gällivare, Sweden 4 × 5 km Relay M World Cup 3rd Brooks / Stephen / Diggins
4 7 December 2012 Canada Quebec City, Canada 6 × 1.6 km Team Sprint F World Cup 1st Diggins
5  2013–14  8 December 2013 Norway Lillehammer, Norway 4 × 5 km Relay M World Cup 3rd Bjornsen / Stephen / Diggins

Other achievements[edit]

In 2009, Randall was elected to the International Ski Federation's Athletes Commission, which she served on for eight years. Subsequently in 2018 she was elected to the International Olympic Committee's Athletes Commission, succeeding American ice hockey player Angela Ruggiero.[4]

Randall defeated teammate Holly Brooks to win the Mount Marathon Race in 2011, following in the footsteps of her mother Debbie (who won the Race in 1975) and aunt Betsy (who won it three years in succession from 1979 to 1981).[16]

Randall was inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Randall is married to former Canadian ski racer Jeff Ellis, who works as a marketing support manager for the FIS Cross-Country World Cup.[10] The pair originally met at a ski competition in 2006, and married in May 2008 in a ceremony officiated by her coach Erik Flora.[3] The couple have a son, Breck, who was born in April 2016.[18]

In April 2008 she was diagnosed with the genetic blood clotting disorder Factor V Leiden after being hospitalized twice due to blood clots in her left leg.[3]

Randall mixes studies at Alaska Pacific University with skiing for the APU Nordic Ski Center program run by former national level ski racer, Erik Flora.

In April 2018, Randall was diagnosed with breast cancer. She announced her diagnoses in July of that year on her social media accounts, as well as her plans to return to Anchorage to undergo chemotherapy.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World Ski Championships - Ladies' SP 1.3 km F Final 24.02.2009". data.fis-ski.com. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  2. ^ Sheinberg, Carrie (3 May 2016). "Skier Kikkan Randall isn't slowing down". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Crouse, Karen (10 December 2009). "Kikkan Randall, the Pride of Alaska on Cross-Country Skis". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c Shinn, Peggy (23 February 2018). "Upon Olympic Retirement, Gold Medalist Kikkan Randall Reflects On Career Highlights, IOC Appointment And Motherhood". United States Olympic Committee. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  5. ^ a b "Kikkan Randall". International Ski Federation. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  6. ^ "Kikkan Randall". U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  7. ^ "World Champs! Kikkan, Jessie Take Gold". Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  8. ^ a b Futterman, Matthew (16 October 2014). "Kikkan Randall: An Olympic Mystery". WSJ.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  9. ^ 'No Hakkinen, Teela on Olympic Biathlon Team', Anchorage Daily News, Beth Bragg, 13 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Kikkan Randall Announces Pregnancy". United States Ski Team. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Axon, Rachel (24 February 2017). "U.S. women make history at cross country skiing world championships". USAToday.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  12. ^ "Breakthrough for Kikkan in Freestyle Sprint". United States Ski and Snowboard Association. 28 January 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  13. ^ Kelly, Tom (9 December 2017). "Randall Back on Sprint Podium in Davos". United States Ski and Snowboard Association. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  14. ^ "U.S. ends 42-year Olympic cross-country medal drought with historic gold". Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  15. ^ "Athlete: RANDALL Kikkan". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 27 January 2018. 
  16. ^ Bragg, Beth (4 July 2011). "Olympic teammates duel on Mount Marathon". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  17. ^ Smith, Brandon (25 November 2016). "Gold Medal Olympican Kikkan Randall Re-Joins U.S. Cross Country Ski Team". KFXF. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  18. ^ Bragg, Beth (31 December 2016). "Kikkan Randall celebrates birthday by placing 15th in Tour de Ski sprint". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  19. ^ Hanlon, Teagan (11 July 2018). "'It's been a roller coaster': Olympic gold medalist Kikkan Randall diagnosed with breast cancer". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 11 July 2018. 

External links[edit]