Randall wins Team USA’s 1st Olympic medal in XC ski since ’76

February 21, 2018

Kikkan Randall nordic skiing Olympics

Kikkan Randall

Alaska Sports Hall of Famer Kikkan Randall of Anchorage helped Team USA break a decades-long drought in nordic skiing at the Olympics as she and teammate Jessie Diggins of Minnesota won the team sprint relay at the Pyeongchang Games in South Korea.

Randall started and Diggins finished, a devastating 1-2 combo that beat perennial power Sweden to win the first-ever medal for American women in the sport. The nation’s only other Olympic medal came in 1976 by Bill Koch.

Randall, of East High fame, is competing in her fifth and final Olympics. This was her 18th race at the Olympics and first medal.

She is 35 and the only mom on Team USA.

What a way to go out.

Randall and Diggins also won the sprint relay at the world championships in 2013.

This gold medal was especially sweet for Randall, who came into the 2014 Sochi Games as a medal favorite in the individual sprint but never made it out of qualifying.

Four years later, she made history.

Randall is the fourth Alaska Sports Hall of Famer to win an Olympic medal at the Winter Games, joining alpine skiers Tommy Moe and Hilary Lindh, and snowboarder Rosey Fletcher.