APU Nordic skier, Kikkan Randall and teammate Jessie Diggins won the women’s team sprint freestyle race at the Pyeongchang Games on Wednesday. The duo are the first American cross country skiers to receive a gold medal at the Olympics, and the first to place since Bill Koch took home a silver in 1976. In a New York Times article Kikkan said, “Hearing it out loud, it still doesn’t feel real. It’s what I’ve been working on for 20 years and with this team for the last five years and, wow, it’s just so fun to put it together tonight, finally.”
Kikkan’s historic win received oodles of press this week, from local outlets like KTVA and Anchorage Daily News, to major news publications like NPR, Christian Science Monitor, and USA Today. Our favorite was this photo essay of her evolution from East High Athlete to Olympian.
The Nordic Ski Team was also given many accolades in the last few days. We’re partial to this Anchorage Daily News article about the history of the program.
Kikkan was also elected to the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission by her fellow athletes. She’ll serve an eight year term in the position that serves as a link between athletes and the IOC.
“Kikkan has always represented Team USA to the highest levels,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun, in a press release. “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.”