Kikkan Randall takes her talents to television and talks life after Olympic gold
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Preparation for this year’s Winter Olympics has been different for Kikkan Randall as she takes her gold medal talents to the broadcast booth as a cross-country skiing analyst for NBC.
The five-time Olympian tested the waters of television last year at the World Championships and found out a couple of weeks ago she’d be doing the same thing for the Olympic Games.
“I found it was just really fun to look at the sport from a slightly different angle,” Randall recalled of her experience as a television analyst during the Nordic World Championships. “... It was fun to dive into some of the athlete’s stories of people that I knew personally from racing myself.”
This week Randall is traveling to NBC’s studios in Stamford, Connecticut where their announcing teams will provide play-by-play for Olympic events since they aren’t being sent to China.
“I’m really excited to be joining the team at NBC to be an analyst for ... five of the six cross-country races,” Randall said. “I started to get to know some of the people who produced the races in Pyeongchang and I’ve always loved talking about the inside stories in the sport.”
Randall can sympathize with the pressure Olympians are facing right now as they get ready to compete in Beijing. Whether it’s the highs and lows of racing or life, Randall’s experienced it all in the past four years.
“If we start off with that gold medal — an absolute dream come true, the ultimate perfect note to end an amazing career,” Randall said. “I was so excited to come back here to Alaska and celebrate.”
Randall returned to Anchorage for a celebration in Town Square Park in April 2018 and presented the skis to the city. Shortly after, she moved to British Columbia with her family. In July 2018, while she was living in Canada, everything changed as she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I was so fortunate to have an amazing medical team that I utilized up here in Anchorage,” Randall said. “The support network that had been so fun in celebrating that gold medal with me, became exponentially more important when I went through cancer.”
Leaning on help from her hometown, she returned home to Alaska and began her battle with cancer. She inspired many as she biked to chemotherapy and worked out despite her diagnosis.
After wrapping up her cancer treatments, Randall returned to Canada. Recently she moved back to Anchorage to take over as executive director of the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage, where her skiing career began.
“That feeling of gliding on snow brings so much to my life,” Randall said. “And so when this opportunity came up to be the executive director for NSAA, I realized it was this perfect full-circle opportunity.”
No matter what she’s gone through the past four years, Randall said it’s given her the gift of perspective.
“A lot of perspective building in those few years, and just ultimately makes me really grateful for the amazing people I have, the brilliant moments I’ve had in my past I think, and all the hard times have helped build my character help me have a zest for life going forward,” she said.
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