By Risa Kerslake
Cross-country ski champion Kikkan Randall managed to sneak having a baby into her training schedule between the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. “I had put in all the hard work, and it was just getting to the fun part, where you could really put all that work into action,” she tells Romper by phone of seeing years of training finally paying off. “But at the same time I also knew I wasn’t willing to wait another four years to wait to start a family.” Elite sports and pregnancy weren’t exactly complementary — no guidance existed on how to achieve two disparate goals, so to speak.
So she mapped out a schedule herself. “I knew this was a unique opportunity to combine my life as an athlete — to make a push for one more Olympics — and to combine that with motherhood.” The gambit paid off in February of 2018, when she won her first gold medal in Pyeongchang for the women’s team free sprint, as then-2-year-old son Breck watched on from overseas. Then, in May 2018, she found out she had breast cancer.
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