Kikkan Randall is smiling after receiving the Joska crystal globe as the FIS Cross Country World Cup sprint champion. (Getty Images/AFP-Jonathan Nackstrand)
FALUN, Sweden (March 18) – American Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) validated another major milestone in her career, collecting a hard-earned Joska crystal globe as the FIS Cross Country World Cup sprint champion at the season finale in Sweden. Randall became the first American to win a title since Bill Koch won the overall in the debut season of the World Cup in 1982. Randall’s hoisting of the globe in Falun was a decade long goal and one that came close onto her radar a year ago when she finished third.
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) won the FIS Cross Country World Cup sprint title – the first American crown since Bill Koch in 1982
Randall opened the season with two straight wins and clinched the title with one race remaining
Randall finished fifth in the overall World Cup - best ever U.S. finish since Bill Koch
Six U.S. women and five men scored World Cup points
Kikkan Randall I feel like it's just right. It's been an incredible season. It has been really really fun and challenging. I feel like this is the perfect cap to end it. I'm looking forward to taking a little break and letting it all sink in.
The sprint globe was my big goal all season but to finish in the top 5th overall is an incredible step forward from where I've been. It's a huge accomplishment. It's what I've wanted all along- to be a contender in every discipline. So it's been really fun and I hope I can continue to make jumps forward.
Chris Grover, Cross Country Head Coach It has been a long road to leading to a crystal globe for Kikkan. She has been part of the U.S. Ski Team since 2000. During this time, she has been systematic and incredibly professional in her approach to training, racing and living. She is now reaping the benefits of many years of hard work and professionalism. Her success should serve as a model for just what can be accomplished with a bit of talent, a ton of hard work, and a positive outlook. We are all so proud of her.
We are also proud of what the U.S. men and women have accomplished on the World Cup this season. We had seven World Cup podiums. The U.S. finished the season in eighth overall in the Nations Cup. Last year we were 13th, in 2010 we were 15th. We are a nation on the rise in the sport for sure.