Kikkan Randall

Kikkan Randall (born December 31, 1982) is an American, Olympic champion cross-country skier. She has won 17 U.S. National titles, made 29 podiums on the World Cup, made five trips to the Winter Olympic Games and had the highest finish by an individual American woman at the World Championships, second in the Sprint in Liberec 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 Jessie 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.

Kikkan Randall
Kikkan Randall.jpg
Kikkan Randall after winning the Stockholm Royal Palace Sprint in March 2013
Country United States
Born (1982-12-31) December 31, 1982 (age 39)
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Height5 ft 5 in (165 cm)
Ski clubAPU Ski Team
World Cup career
Seasons14 – (2001, 20052015, 20172018)
Individual wins13
Team wins1
Indiv. podiums29
Team podiums5
Indiv. starts214
Team starts19
Overall titles0 – (3rd in 2013)
Discipline titles3 – (3 SP, 2012, 2013, 2014)

Early yearsEdit

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 an NCAA Division I college.[4] She ran a 6:06 minute mile in sixth grade at Scenic Park Elementary, but Kikkan's goal was to run a five minute mile by high school. Kikkan Randell wanted to attend East High school because she wanted to wear red and blue just like her mom and aunt and that lead to Randall winning 10 state titles at East Anchorage High School — seven in track and three in cross-country running. She was announced the fastest girl on skies and 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][5]

Skiing careerEdit

Early careerEdit

After completing High School in Anchorage, Alaska at Bettye Davis East High school, Kikkan Randall decided to stay in her home town, Anchorage to start her undergraduate studies and train with Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center to start her new beginning. 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.

2006–2011Edit

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]

Kikkan won a silver medal in February 2009, at the Nordic Skiing World Championship for the 1.3 Kilometer sprint; she was the first American to take home a World Championship medal since Bill Koch's win 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.[6]

2011–2012Edit

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.[6]

2012–2013Edit

 
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 Jessie 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.[7] Randall, with Diggins, won the first-ever team sprint gold for U.S. women at the World Ski Championships.[8]

2013–2014Edit

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,[9] but missed qualifying to advance in the sprint quarterfinals by .05 of a second.[10] 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.[9]

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.

2014–2015Edit

Randall placed third in the Lahti freestyle sprint.

In October 2015 Randall announced that she was expecting her first child in April, and would take leave 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.[11]

2016–2017Edit

Upon returning to competition, Randall did not advance beyond qualifying in the first two World Cup Sprint competitions of the season.[12] However, she made steady progress, and in January 2017 finished fifth in a World Cup Sprint in Falun, Sweden.[13] 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.[12]

2017–2018Edit

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.[14]

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.[15]

Cross-country skiing resultsEdit

All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS).[16]

Olympic GamesEdit

  • 1 medal – (1 gold)
 Year   Age   10 km   15 km   Pursuit   30 km   Sprint   4 × 5 km 
 relay 
 Team 
 sprint 
2002 19 60 44
2006 23 53 9 14 10
2010 27 23 8 11 6
2014 31 28 18 8 7
2018 35 16 40 5 Gold

World ChampionshipsEdit

  • 3 medals – (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
 Year   Age   10 km   15 km   Pursuit   30 km  Sprint   4 × 5 km 
 relay 
 Team 
 sprint 
2003 20 50 54 39
2005 22 65 29 DNF 14
2007 24 41 22 14 11
2009 26 26 Silver 13 10
2011 28 32 18 26 9 9
2013 30 30 19 4 Gold
2015 32 15 31 35
2017 34 26 17 Bronze 4

World CupEdit

Season titlesEdit

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

Season standingsEdit

 Season   Age  Discipline standings Ski Tour standings
Overall Distance Sprint Nordic
Opening
Tour de
Ski
World Cup
Final
2001 19 97 70
2005 23 NC NC NC
2006 24 59 NC 34
2007 25 30 NC 12
2008 26 32 NC 15
2009 27 46 76 25 49
2010 28 37 49 18 17
2011 29 10 23   19 21 16
2012 30 5 14   6 10 8
2013 31   10   5 12 7
2014 32 6 17   5 13
2015 33 43 71 17 58 DNF
2017 35 36 45 20 DNF
2018 36 31 27 22 25 DNF 43

Individual podiumsEdit

  • 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   Rybinsk, Russia 1.2 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
2 2007–08 16 December 2007   Rybinsk, Russia 1.2 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
3  2009–10  14 March 2010   Oslo, Norway 1.0 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
4  2010–11  4 December 2010   Düsseldorf, Germany 0.9 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
5 12 December 2010   Davos, Switzerland 1.4 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
6 15 January 2011   Liberec, Czech Republic 1.3 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
7 20 February 2011   Drammen, Norway 1.2 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
8 2011–12 3 December 2011   Düsseldorf, Germany 0.9 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
9 11 December 2011   Davos, Switzerland 1.5 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
10 4 January 2012   Toblach, Italy 1.3 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 2nd
11 14 January 2012   Milan, Italy 1.4 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
12 17 February 2012   Szklarska Poręba, Poland 1.6 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
13  2012–13  24 November 2012   Gällivare, Sweden 10 km Individual F World Cup 3rd
14 17 February 2012   Rukatunturi, Finland 5 km Individual F Stage World Cup 2nd
15 8 December 2012   Quebec City, Canada 1.6 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
16 15 December 2012   Canmore, Canada 1.3 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
17 29 December 2012   Oberhof, Germany 3 km Individual F Stage World Cup 1st
18 1 January 2013   Val Müstair, Switzerland 1.4 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 1st
19 1 February 2013   Sochi, Russia 1.25 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
20 9 March 2013   Lahti, Finland 1.55 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
21 22 March 2013   Falun, Sweden 2.5 km Individual F Stage World Cup 2nd
22 24 March 2013 10 km Pursuit F Stage World Cup 2nd
23  2013–14  29 November 2013   Rukatunturi, Finland 1.4 km Sprint C Stage World Cup 2nd
24 15 December 2013   Davos, Switzerland 1.5 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
25 11 January 2014   Nové Město, Czech Republic 1.3 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
26 18 January 2014   Szklarska Poręba, Poland 1.5 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
27 1 March 2014   Lahti, Finland 1.55 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
28  2014–15  7 March 2015   Lahti, Finland 1.5 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
29  2017–18  9 December 2017   Davos, Switzerland 1.5 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd

Team podiumsEdit

  • 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   Düsseldorf, Germany 6 × 0.9 km Team Sprint F World Cup 2nd Bjornsen
2 15 January 2012   Milan, Italy 6 × 0.9 km Team Sprint F World Cup 2nd Diggins
3  2012–13  25 November 2012   Gällivare, Sweden 4 × 5 km Relay C/F World Cup 3rd Brooks / Stephen / Diggins
4 7 December 2012   Quebec City, Canada 6 × 1.6 km Team Sprint F World Cup 1st Diggins
5  2013–14  8 December 2013   Lillehammer, Norway 4 × 5 km Relay C/F World Cup 3rd Bjornsen / Stephen / Diggins

Other achievementsEdit

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).[17]

Randall was inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.[18]

Personal lifeEdit

Randall was married to former Canadian ski racer Jeff Ellis. They divorced in October 2021.[3] The couple have a son, Breck, who was born in April 2016.[19]

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 diagnosis in July of that year on her social media accounts, as well as her plans to return to Anchorage to undergo chemotherapy.[20]

ReferencesEdit

  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 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. ^ Bragg, Beth (August 24, 1997). "When Kikkan Randall was an East High freshman, she was already going places". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  6. ^ a b "Kikkan Randall". International Ski Federation. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Kikkan Randall". U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  8. ^ "World Champs! Kikkan, Jessie Take Gold". Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  9. ^ a b Futterman, Matthew (16 October 2014). "Kikkan Randall: An Olympic Mystery". WSJ.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  10. ^ 'No Hakkinen, Teela on Olympic Biathlon Team', Anchorage Daily News, Beth Bragg, 13 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Kikkan Randall Announces Pregnancy". United States Ski Team. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  12. ^ a b Axon, Rachel (24 February 2017). "U.S. women make history at cross country skiing world championships". USAToday.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Breakthrough for Kikkan in Freestyle Sprint". United States Ski and Snowboard Association. 28 January 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  14. ^ Kelly, Tom (9 December 2017). "Randall Back on Sprint Podium in Davos". United States Ski and Snowboard Association. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  15. ^ "U.S. ends 42-year Olympic cross-country medal drought with historic gold". Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  16. ^ "RANDALL Kikkan". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  17. ^ Bragg, Beth (4 July 2011). "Olympic teammates duel on Mount Marathon". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  18. ^ Smith, Brandon (25 November 2016). "Gold Medal Olympican Kikkan Randall Re-Joins U.S. Cross Country Ski Team". KFXF. Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  19. ^ Bragg, Beth (31 December 2016). "Kikkan Randall celebrates birthday by placing 15th in Tour de Ski sprint". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  20. ^ 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 linksEdit

  Media related to Kikkan Randall at Wikimedia Commons