Olympic gold medalist Kikkan Randall was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
The 35-year-old Randall, who made history when she won gold in PyeongChang alongside teammate Jessie Diggins, made the announcement on social media on Wednesday.
“My life will change quite a bit in the coming months,” she wrote on Instagram.
“We caught it early”
Though any cancer diagnosis can be grim, Randall says her cancer was discovered in its early phases. Randall, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, is receiving treatment at the Providence Cancer Center in Anchorage.
“The color pink has taken on a new chapter in my life as I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Although we caught it early and the prognosis is good, my life will change quite a bit in the coming months,” she wrote.
“It’s a scary thing to learn you have cancer and I have wondered every day since how this could have possibly happened to me. But I have promised myself that I will remain positive and active and determined throughout my treatment. I am going to bring as much tenacity, strength, and energy toward this challenge as I have throughout my entire career.”
Randall revealed that she began chemotherapy on Monday. She even made sure to “get a gym workout in” beforehand and ride her bike to and from the hospital.
Kikkan Randall made U.S. Olympic history
When Randall and Diggins captured the gold in PyeongChang, they made history. The duo became the first female American cross country skiers to win an Olympic medal — and they did so in dramatic fashion.
Randall started in pole position and set the pace, but Diggins initially fell back to third before a ferocious sprint to the finish line ahead of Norway and Sweden to finish in 15:56.47 — just ahead of the Swedish duo.
On top of that, they won the United States its first ever — man, woman, team or individual — medal in ski sprint.
And Randall did it in her fifth Olympics and 19th event overall.
Jesse Diggins and Kikkan Randall win the women’s free sprint gold. Randall competed in 18 events before her first medal — an Olympic record.
— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) February 21, 2018
Randall did not compete in 2015-16 and then had a son, Breck, in April 2016. Even after that time away from the sport, she was able to earn a spot on the U.S. team for the PyeongChang games. It paid off in a big way.
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