Anchorage Olympian Kikkan Randall missed a medal opportunity at the Sochi Winter Olympics Tuesday, knocked out of the cross-country sprint quarterfinals by an agonizing five-hundredths of a second.
The races began at 1 a.m. Alaska time, soon advancing into the quarterfinals -- including a murderous heat which pitted Randall against some of the world’s best skiers. She received a standing ovation in Sochi, from a crowd which recognized her competitive spirit.
“(Things) didn't go her way today but she's an amazing champion of the sport,” Channel 2 Sports anchor Charlie Sokaitis wrote on Twitter from the scene.
Sophie Caldwell, the sole American to advance to the individual sprint finals, fell in the final race -- set for 4:45 a.m. Alaska time -- and took sixth place.
Fellow skier Holly Brooks, who has competed both with Randall on the U.S. team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and against her in the women’s Mount Marathon foot race in Seward, took to Twitter early Tuesday to express her sympathy.
“My heart is hurting for teammate @kikkanimal,” Brooks wrote, using Randall’s well-known Twitter handle.
Channel 2’s Charlie Sokaitis and Matthew Smith contributed information to this story.