Kikkan Randall wins her first gold medal in cross-country, after a whopping 18 tries! The Winter Olympics are closing in on the final days, and Team USA is catching up on the podium.
Kikkan Randall has attended five Olympic games and during her last event, she finally did what no American woman has ever done: won a medal in cross-country skiing. Randall and her teammate, Jessica Diggins, won the team sprint free final at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.
The golden moment, no pun intended, was awarded to the two by the skin of their teeth! Randall and Diggins sprinted to the finish only 0.19 seconds ahead of the Swedish team, Charlotte Kalla and Stina Nilsson, with whom they had been dueling throughout the entire length of the race.
Randall had never placed higher than sixth place at the Winter Games, dating back to her first ever Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah back in 2002. She has had 18 attempts throughout her career, and she finally made it at this past Wednesday’s event. According to National Public Radio, Randall has firmly decided to retire and make a home with her family after the 2018 Games. It seems only fitting as she sees her career end with an Olympic gold medal around her neck.
When discussing the duo's strategy, she said they wanted to push the pace early and try to take some energy from the sprinters they were up against. The olympian, who had a child nearly two years ago, sees the win as a fitting race to bookend her career as an Olympic athlete.
Believe it or not, Randall is the only mother on Team USA. She is also one of the first women to compete in five Olympics, along with Kelly Clark, who is also currently in Pyeongchang. We’re so stoked for Randall and her win. We can’t imagine the time and energy she has put into the sport and all while being a mother. Kudos to you, Kikkan Randall!