PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (KTUU) - Kikkan Randall made history this week by bringing gold to the U.S. cross-country skiing program with a photo finish in the women's team sprint event. Now, Anchorage's own will take on a new role in Olympic history.
Now, Randall is taking another first step, as she is elected into the International Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission, a 20-person board that is designed to "serve as a link between athletes and the IOC," according to Team USA.
In a release issued Thursday, Team USA said that voting for this position took place among all competing Olympians from Feb. 1 to Feb. 21 in the South Korea Olympic villages. Randall was elected by a majority of these athletes to join the international team, comprised of athletes from all over the globe. Emma Terho, Finnish ice hockey player, was also elected, bringing the total athlete count, along with Randall, to 20.
“Wow, what amazing news to get today,” Randall said of her election. “I have so much passion and energy to put toward the Olympic Movement and it feels so good to have the athletes put their faith in me. I look forward to representing the athletes and making the Olympic Movement strong in the future. This is going to be a really fun ride.”
The overall goal of the commission, according to the IOC, is to more or less give athletes a voice within the organization. Members are elected primarily by athletes, for the sake of athletes.
“Kikkan has always represented Team USA to the highest levels,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “She’s a selfless and consummate athlete, professional, wife, mother, and advocate, and will no doubt have an extremely positive impact on the IOC Athletes’ Commission. Angela has set the bar high over the last eight years as she tirelessly advocated on behalf of athletes from all over the world, and Kikkan will no doubt further her legacy.”
The two vacant seats were opened for Randall and Terho when Angela Ruggiero of the U.S. and Adam Pengilly of Great Britain concluded their year-year terms. Ruggiero had some kind words for Randall following her appointment.
“Congratulations to Kikkan for this well-deserved honor,” said Ruggiero. “Serving in a key leadership role on behalf of the athletes at the center of the Olympic Movement is not only a great honor, but an important responsibility. Kikkan’s a proven and dedicated advocate for athletes, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact she’ll have in this new role.”