On Dec. 16 in Rybinsk, Russia, Kikkan Randall became the first American woman to win a cross-country event in a World Cup competition.
The victory made Randall, who was born in Salt Lake City and grew up in Anchorage, the first American to win a World Cup cross-country event since Bill Koch in 1983.
Randall outsprinted some of the best female cross-country skiers in the world to win the 1.2km freestyle sprint race, finishing ahead of the sprint world champion Astrid Jacobsen of Norway.
No American woman has ever won an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing. Koch won a silver medal in the 30K race at the 1976 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
"First and foremost this sport is about fitness," Luke Bodensteiner, the US ski team's Nordic director, said. "These athletes are among, if they are not, the world's fittest. The Europeans have long had an advantage because they come from a ski culture."
"For us, cross-country skiing has long been a family-oriented, healthy sport where you can get your kids outside in the winter and parents can ski side by side with them," he said.
Randall, a champion cross-country runner in high school in Alaska, embraced skiing as a way to stay in condition and keep her competitive fire stoked during the long and dark winter days in the Far North.
At 19, she made her Olympic debut in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, finishing 44th in the first Olympic sprint.
Last year in Turin, Randall finished ninth in the sprint, the best Olympic result in cross-country skiing by an American woman.
"Being at the Games in Salt Lake really planted the seed for me," Randall said. "Then I felt strong in Turin.
"In Russia, I only wanted to ski my race, but then I was neck and neck with Astrid as we approached the only uphill climb. I passed her and was kind of waiting for her to come back at me, but she never did," he said.
Randall will join other members of the US team in Houghton, Michigan, for the national championships, with competition beginning on Tuesday.
"It's kind of a low-key event for an athlete of Kikkan's caliber," Bodensteiner said. "The World Cup is really where it's at."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there