Whistler, British Columbia – Kikkan Randall (USA) already has made history countless times in her storied ski-career. On Wednesday, at Whistler Olympic Park, she did it again. Randall posted the best Olympic result ever in US women’s cross-country skiing, finishing 8th in the classic sprint.
She beat her own mark of 9th, set in 2006.
This is just one more notch in her impressive belt of accomplishments. Last year she became the first US woman to win a cross-country medal at World Championships, and has secured her place as the greatest female skier in US history, and perhaps second only to Bill Koch overall.
And despite her medal last year, Randall was not considered a favorite, or even a contender for the podium. She has always been a stronger skater in the sprint, but over the past several years as worked hard to improve her classic skiing. That work paid off today when she qualified an impressive 10th in a stacked field, and then advanced out of her quarterfinal as the lucky loser before missing out on a berth in the finals.
At this point, she has forced her competition to view her as legitimate threat in either technique.
Here are some photos of this exciting day.
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.