XCFeedsThe Johnny5: Kikkan Randall

Avatar Johnny KlisterJune 16, 2009

piThe Johnny5 represents the people that changed things for skiing in the US in the last year.  You wouldn’t know it from the endless whining that consumes us in the Spring, but this WAS a solid year for American Skiing. (Capitalized for a reason.)  That didn’t come by accident.  So here they are in no particular order the (roughly) five folks that pushed change in 08 / 09.  We’ll do one a day for the week. We’ll also include some tidbits at the end of the Johnny5 from the nominations that are sure to entertain.  Stay tuned./i/p
pHad Andy Newell or Kris Freeman finished second at the World Championships, the long and tired “Does the US suck at skiing?” articles on Fasterskier and throughout various internet sites would likely have been put to rest this year.  Had we seen Noah Hoffman win at World Juniors or even another American male finish on top at the NCAA championships, those might have been decent enough finishes to bode well for the “future” of US skiing.  When people write “US skiing future”, they mean dudes.  At a World Cup not many seasons ago, the head of another (as in, not-US) country’s ski service said on the ski test track, loud enough to barely be heard.  “This is ok- it’s for the women.  We’ll use their data for the real race.”  Inevitably whichever gender shows up first is going to act as a test crew, but to be overt about it is patriarchal, mysogynistic and short sighted.  This makes it tougher for women to succeed in skiing, which makes Kikkan Randall’s results and efforts even more significant.  To the endless ponderers of would-be World Cup success, if you want to improve skiing in the US, read every comment you post considering only the women’s fields.  Do this and improvement will happen in skiing where it is at its weakest: the depth of the women’s fields.  While we have stong examples like Kikkan, Liz Morgan, the depth of the field falls off quickly.  Too quickly.  Who wants to be in a sport where women are so overtly an afterthought?  Kikkan Randall knows this and is doing something about it./p
pMore than her World Championship finish (or her World Cup win from Rybinks in ‘08), more than her sheer committment to skiing, even more than her position as the FIS rep for all things female, Kikkan is changing the game by empowering women to revel in skiing.  Kikkan partnered with Chandra Crawford’s albuterol

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