Alaskan Kikkan Randall has established herself as the best U.S. women’s cross country skier in history. The 2012 season was a benchmark for Randall as she parlayed five World Cup podiums, including two wins, into the World Cup sprint title – a first for an American woman. She also dramatically upped the ante in both her classic and distance skiing to finish fifth overall. A three-time Olympian, Randall is focused on medals at the World Championships as well as improving on her record 10th place finish in the grueling Tour de Ski stage race in early January. She’ll also have an opportunity to test the new track for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, where the sprint will play to her favored freestyle technique.
Name: Kikkan "Kikkanimal" Randall
Sport: Cross country skiing
How/when did you decide you wanted to compete: I decided I wanted to go to the Olympic Winter Games when I was 5 years old but didn't settle on cross country skiing as my sport of choice until I was 16. After attending my first World Jr. trip in 2000, I got inspired to try and become best in the world.
Biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Capturing the overall World Cup sprint title last season, proving I that could be strong over the full season and be consistently competitive across all techniques and courses.
Goals for next season: After getting diagnosed with a stress fracture in my foot this summer, I've had to alter my goals slightly. My biggest focus of the season will be on the World Championships in February. I believe our team has a shot at a medal in the team sprint and I am aiming to make the final in the classic sprint. I also look forward to previewing the Olympic courses in Sochi.
Favorite snow destination: Davos, Switzerland. It's like living in a Christmas postcard!
Favorite non-snow destination: Maui!! I love to go there in the spring with my husband and tour the island on our road bikes. It is always fun to meet up with fellow Fast Female Julia Mancuso for some rides as well!
If you weren't a professional athlete what would you be: Either a computer-science-techno-weenie or a National Spirit Leader for Fast and Female.
Time you've been most scared in your life: When I was diagnosed with a massive blood clot in my leg and it was uncertain if I would recover fully enough to continue being an athlete.
Biggest vice: Maple glazed donuts from my local grocery store in Anchorage!
Biggest pet peeve: People that don't believe in themselves.
Advice to others who want to follow in your footsteps: To become the best in the world in cross country skiing takes a leap of faith, a lot of hard work and patience, but it is an incredibly rewarding journey totally worth all the sweat, blood and tears it takes to get there!!