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#pounditFriday, July 23, 2021

Articles tagged: Kikkan Randall

Team exec dyes hair pink after US skier wins medal

Jessie Diggins Kikkan Randall

Tom Kelly is proving to be a man of his word at the PyeongChang Games.

Kelly, who is vice president of communications for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, fulfilled a 12-year promise to skier Kikkan Randall. After Randall won gold in cross-country this week during the women’s team sprint freestyle event, Kelly dyed his hair pink, per Steve Reed of the Associated Press.

The 35-year-old Randall took home the gold along with teammate Jessie Diggins in their event on Thursday. It was the first-ever gold medal for the United States in cross-country. Considering how dramatic their victory was as well, Kelly was probably more than happy to make good on his pilary promise.

Jessie Diggins, Kikkan Randall won gold medal in photo finish

Jessie Diggins Kikkan Randall

As if winning the first Olympic gold for America in cross-country skiing weren’t already thrilling enough, the tight margin by which Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall won added an extra level of drama to the matter.

Diggins chased down Sweden’s Stina Nilsson and outstretched her to cross the finish line first in the women’s team free sprint by 0.19 seconds:

Watching Diggins come from behind to overtake Nilsson was special.

“In the final stretch I was just thinking, Go, go, go, I’m giving it everything I had and I’ve got someone who I really love and care about waiting for me at the finishing line and I just want to make her proud,” Diggins said, via the New York Times.

Diggins and Randall combined for a gold medal-winning time of 15:56.47. They were 0.19 seconds ahead of Sweden and 2.97 seconds ahead of Norway’s team to win gold.

Not only was it the first Olympic gold for the U.S. in cross-country skiing, but it was the first cross-country skiing medal for the country since 1976. And while the finish wasn’t quite as tight as one we saw in speedskating, the comeback victory was one heck of a way to get it done.