In the world of cross-country skiing, three letters don’t often make their way to the top of the results page: U, S, and A. While we wouldn’t go so far as to say the U.S. has been ignored in international competition, it’s fair to assert that American athletes haven’t historically been considered legitimate threats for the podium.
Apparently, Kikkan Randall isn’t much of a history buff.
Kikkan, an Ibex-sponsored athlete and all-around superheroine in a speed suit, has been throwing down podium finishes and blistering times on the FIS World Cup circuit this year (and last year, too!). So far this season she has earned FIS points at every race; she has been on the podium in three of her seven events; and she took the top spot in early December at a sprint race in Quebec.
To put her achievements in perspective, imagine greater odds bet against you than combining the 1980 Miracle on Ice, taking down a dreaded 7-10 split, and the hope of Dan Marino actually running with a football.
Her latest win came during the nine day endurance-a-thon, known as the Tour de Ski. Over the course of those nine days, athletes race in seven events, at five separate venues in three different countries. Our girl Kikkan took a first in one of the events, clearing the finish line more than 50-meters ahead of her nearest competitor. The win was enough to solidify a solid 12th place finish for the entire Tour.
With the addition of her Tour de Ski points, Kikkan is currently in third place in the overall World Cup standings. Call us patriotic or overly confident. Or maybe just share in the enormous pride we hold for Kikkan, but we’re thinking that fan-boys around the Nordic world should start practicing a new chant: U, S, A.
Keep it up, Kikkan! We believe in you.
Check out Kikkan’s major finishes here.