On Tour with Kikkan

If you catch a glimpse of Kikkan Randall only briefly, even without one of the US team suits she wore for nearly two decades, there’s a practiced ease to the way she moves that belies recreational skiing. Kikkan is fast even when she’s standing still and in the weeks following her last treatment for cancer in March of 2019, she brought every bit of emotion, every nuanced tip and bit of her skiing gravity with her to a Fischer sponsored tour visiting schools, shops, ski areas and ski events. The result has been a trail of inspiration leading would-be Olympians and longtime fans of the sport along with Kikkan into the next chapter of her adventure.

When visiting the Hopkington School, Kikkan’s visit didn’t just prompt a handful of team skiers- the entire school took in her stories and heard the first-hand play-by-play of Kikkan’s historic gold medal, won in partnership with Jessie Diggins in Pyeong Chang’s freestyle team sprint. In adding Olympic Champion to her World Championship and 3x Overall World Cup Sprint crown, Kikkan became America’s most decorated cross country skier and an outright inspiration.

Amidst sunny skies and running sap of Vermont’s Maple Trees, Kikkan led dozens of Vermont skiers through the spring conditions at the Sleepy Hollow Inn and Cross Country Ski Center before gathering the following, ranging in age from 8 to 80 in the center’s round barn. Standing in front of video replays of her medal-winning performance, various media visits (the Today Show!) and photos of the cohesive team she led to prominence on the International stage, the room stood pin drop silent.

Kikkan’s tour began at the American Birkebeiner, coursed through New England, paused at the Quebec City World Cups and concludes in her longtime home in Anchorage, Alaska and a visit to Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking on Saturday, April 6th. “This is just the beginning of what I hope will happen in the community,” she told skiers following her. ‘To see the growth, the excitement in the sport in the wake of (the medal). That’s something I hope we can keep going for a long, long time.”