At PyeongChang 2018, American cross-country skier Kikkan Randall stood with her team-mate Jessie Diggins at the top of the podium. Her trademark dyed pink hair beamed across the world’s screens.
The 35-year-old has now shaved that hair off.
“I definitely liked my hair. It’s definitely going to be different not having it,” she said to the Olympic Channel Podcast.
“But I know this is only temporary. And so far, in the less than 24 hours since I shaved it off, I am feeling ok about it.”
It was Mother’s Day in May 2018 when the Olympic gold medallist found the lump in her breast, before the dreaded ‘call’.
Doctors confirmed it was cancer.
“I went through a wave of emotions – almost like experiencing a loss.
“You experience disbelief. Like, ‘No. This can’t be right. Not me. I can’t have this.’
“You go through anger and frustration, like, ‘This isn’t fair. I have done everything right. This can’t be happening to me.’”
It goes against everything you would hope to be true.
If you maintain a healthy body and mind, then surely you can expect to enjoy a long and happy life.
Randall smiles wryly.
“I have heard that people (with cancer) often feel guilty as if they, kind of, caused it.
“(I’m) like, ‘Hey – if an Olympic gold medallist can get this, then it’s nothing you did.’”
It should come as no surprise that the American is still working out – doing interval training and taking hikes up Alaskan mountains.
“Someone might say, ‘If an Olympic gold medallist gets cancer – why should I even try (to stay healthy)?’
“I’d say, ‘If this does happen to you, because cancer doesn’t appear to discriminate, that being healthy will help you get through it.”
The full article is available at OlympicChannel.com