6 Team USA Athletes Who Are Using The Power Of Sport For Good

BY LISA COSTANTINI | APRIL 05, 2019, 6:25 P.M. (ET)

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace — declared by the United Nations in 2013 — celebrates the power of sport to drive social change, community development and to foster peace and understanding. In honor of this initiative, which takes place annually on April 6, we’re highlighting six of the many Team USA Olympians and Paralympians who are using the power of sport to make the world a better place. Here’s what they’re doing and why.

For the complete article click HERE.

An Afternoon with Kikkan Randall: Cross Country Olympic Gold Medalist

Whenever I make a trip to the East coast, specifically the Northeast I try to pack in as much as I can.  This recent trip was no different with stop is in New York City, Vermont, Quebec City and Maine.  It’s busy days but somehow I come out more energized than when I arrived.

When I get to see posts like this one it just reaffirms how worth it it all is.  Thank you Sleepy Hollow and Skirack for the great visit and Marissa for the kind words…

On Wednesday, March 20, 2019, Skirack and theSleepy Hollow Inn Bike and Ski Center had the honor of hosting one of the most inspirational and influential nordic skiers of our time. It was a perfect, blue bird day. The snow was soft and the sun was shining when I arrived at Sleepy Hollow to set up for what promised to be an exciting event. People were already materializing with an hour still to go before the start. You could feel the anticipation building as everyone eagerly waited for the Fischer SUV to appear. I busied myself setting up tables and erecting wind blades that proudly proclaimed Fischer and One Way. When next I looked out the window of the barn, there it was, shining black in the sun, and as I scanned the scene I finally spotted her: Kikkan Randall, winningest American Nordic Skier, Olympic Gold Medalist and determined cancer fighter.

For the complete article click HERE.

 

Skirt Sports Podcast: Kikkan Randall Made a 10 Year Plan & Won Gold

Sometimes we choose to do things that push us out of our comfort zones. Sometimes those things happen to us and we have to dig in, embrace the discomfort and use all of our tools to push through. Kikkan Randall has experienced both categories. Kikkan is a lifelong skier. Her family moved to Alaska when she was young so most of her formative years were spent there. She’s a talent. Pure and simple. A natural athlete who gravitated to skiing. She has competed in 5 Olympic games. FIVE! While she raced at the top level in the world for over 15 years, it wasn’t until 2018 when she and her teammate Jessie Diggins won gold in the Team Sprint – the first ever gold medals in that event!

To listen to the podcast click HERE.

Kikkan’s athletic career alone is something we can all glean knowledge and inspiration from. But the next chapter of her life started three months after her gold medal. She was officially retired when she felt a lump on her breast and was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at 35 years old. This is the chapter she’s still writing. Through it all, she has used exercise as a tool to help during treatments and guess what? Just for kicks, she jumped into her first endurance race – the  50km Birkie! Like me (racing the 29km Korte), she was also stepping outside of her comfort zone and doing a long distance race for the first time.

Today we talk about:

Alaska: Growing up in eccentric Alaskan culture as a runner and a skier
What it took to become a pro/elite skier
The 10 year plan
Competing at the top level in the world for over 15 years
How she met her husband Jeff Ellis & their evolution as a married couple pursuing athletic dreams – separately and together
Becoming a mom (to now 3 year old Breck)
THE RACE! What it took to win GOLD in PyeongChang 2018
Why teamwork is the key to success
Cancer: how, why & what now
Jumping into the Birkie & exercising through her treatments
What we didn’t talk about:

Her non-profit Fast & Female – Kikkan is empowering girls everyday!

Kikkan is a very special person. Since this interview, ESPNW wrote an article about Kikkan and described what they call “the Kikkan Effect.” Here’s how the author Bonnie Ford describes it, “a powerful vortex evident long before her diagnosis. It pulls people toward her and spins them back out, doing things they might otherwise resist. They hear her in their heads: Come on. It’ll be fun. We’ll be better.”

I think Kikkan is just one of those people who on the outside is like the girl next door, so she’s real and approachable, but on the inside is like a superhero, able to push herself mentally and physically further than most people can ever imagine. But the effect is real. Her Positivity is contagious.

Post-Note: Back to the Birkie for a minute. It’s funny. We texted before and after the start. I told her there was a bet to see who would win – me in the 29k or Kikkan in the 50k. At 2:48, she texted me this sentence, “That was hard.” I wrote back, “I can’t wait to hear about it. But the most awesome thing is that I beat you.” Of course she averaged 3:22 per k for 50k and I averaged 5:13 per k for 29k but a bet’s a bet. So the Kikkan effect has begun!

 

Olympic.org: Kikkan Randall making the athletes voice heard

A MAJOR PROTAGONIST ON THE WORLD CIRCUIT IN HER SPECIALTY OF CROSS-COUNTY SKI SPRINT FOR A DECADE, THE BEST US CROSS-COUNTRY ATHLETE IN HISTORY, KIKKAN RANDALL WON GOLD IN THE TEAM SPRINT WITH JESSICA DIGGINS AT PYEONGCHANG 2018 AND THE FIRST US VICTORY IN THE SPORT FOR 94 YEARS AT THE WINTER GAMES. SHE TALKS TO OLYMPIC.ORG ABOUT THIS FEAT, AS WELL AS HER ELECTION TO THE IOC ATHLETES’ COMMISSION AND HER BATTLE AGAINST ILLNESS.

For the complete article click HERE.

NY Times: Olympic Glory Followed by Chemotherapy

A really nice piece written by Christopher Clarey with the NY Times.  Captures the past 12 months since winning gold in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  Great photo’s by Squamish, BC based Alana Paterson.

A year ago, she won the first American gold medal in cross-country skiing. Then she found out she had breast cancer…  

For the complete article click HERE.

Babbittville radio interview

Had the chance to call into Babbittville Radio. Had a great chat.

Can check out the whole interview HERE.

About Bob Babbitt

Bob Babbitt started racing triathlons way back when the earth was still cooling, in the late 1970’s. He did his first Ironman Triathlon in 1980 on the island of Oahu and ended up completing five more when the event moved to the Big Island.

Despite being incredibly slow at swimming, cycling and running, he has somehow found his way into both the Ironman Hall of Fame and the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame.

He also co-founded Competitor Magazine and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, plus he created Competitor Radio and the Muddy Buddy Ride and Run Series.

When people ask about his best finish in the Ironman World Championship, he is quick to tell them that back in 1980 he finished in the top 60. Hey, who needs to know that there were only 108 people in the race?

For more details visit babbittville.com