Thank You, Alaska: Kikkan Randall reflects and focuses on final Olympics
Kikkan Randall is a name synonymous with cross-country skiing. Since she was 19-years-old, Alaskans have watched the skier become one of the best in the world.
"In 2002... I just had a glimpse of what might be possible in the sport," said Randall in a November interview with KTUU.
Randall's 2002 Winter Olympic debut in Salt Lake City, Utah, was just the beginning, as she would become one of the first women to ever compete in five winter Olympics.
"Knowing this is my last shot – I'm kind of trying to put everything in, but not forget to enjoy it a little bit," said Randall. "Because you certainly prepare, put your head down and you are gritting your teeth, but the Olympics is a pretty special experience."
And for the first time in Randall's career, she has the perspective no one else on the United States ski team has – that's being the mother to her son, Breck.
"It's been a really fun adventure, blending full time parenting and motherhood," said Randall.
Even with a little extra challenge, it's clear what the 35-year-old skier wants to accomplish at this year's Winter Olympics.
"The medal is definitely the biggest carrot in our sport,” said Randall. “I mean, I've had success at the World championships. I've had success in the overall World Cup. And so the one last thing to get is an Olympic medal.”
Randall adds that obtaining an Olympic medal – serving as the final piece to a hall of fame career – wouldn't have been possible without a little help from home.
"I just want to say 'thank you' to everyone in Alaska who has supported me over the past 20 years in my Olympic pursuits," said Randall.
So far in Pyeongchang, Randall has had a mixed bag of results. She took 40th in the Skiathalon and 16th in the 10K Freestyle.
Randall says she is most optimistic about the team events. And this Saturday, Team USA – represented by Randall, Sadie Bjornsen, Jessie Diggins and Sophie Caldwell – will compete in the Women's 4x5K Relay.
To view a live stream of the race,