Olympic gold medalist Kikkan Randall was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
The 35-year-old Randall, who made history when she won gold in PyeongChang alongside teammate Jessie Diggins, made the announcement on social media on Wednesday.
“My life will change quite a bit in the coming months,” she wrote on Instagram.
“We caught it early”
Though any cancer diagnosis can be grim, Randall says her cancer was discovered in its early phases. Randall, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, is receiving treatment at the Providence Cancer Center in Anchorage.
Olympic gold medalist Kikkan Randall
Olympic gold medalist Kikkan Randall
Cross-Country Skiing - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Men's 50km Mass Start Classic - Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 24, 2018 - Kikkan Randall of the U.S., gold medallist for the cross-country skiing women's team sprint free event, poses with a medal beside Tom Kelly, Vice President, Communication at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Medals Ceremony - Cross-Country Skiing - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Team Sprint Free - Medals Plaza - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 22, 2018 - Gold medalists Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins of the U.S on the podium. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Cross-Country Skiing ? Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Women?s 7.5km + 7.5km Skiathlon ? Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre ? Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 10, 2018 - Kikkan Randall of the U.S. in action. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler
Cross-country skier Kikkan Randall poses for a portrait at the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Summit in Park City, Utah, U.S. September 27, 2017. Randall listens to Katy Perry and Lady Gaga while she trains. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
FIS Nordic Ski World Championships - Women's Cross-Country 10 km Classical - Lahti, Finland - 28/2/17 - Kikkan Randall from the U.S. in action. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Kikkan Randall of the US during qualifying of the ladies Sprint Classic at FIS Ruka Nordic 2016 World Cup season opening in Kuusamo, Finland on Saturday November 26, 2016. Lehtikuva/Martti Kainulainen/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. FINLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN FINLAND
Kikkan Randall of the U.S. sprays champagne during a ceremony for winning the total FIS sprint World Cup cross country ski in Falun, March 14, 2014. REUTERS/Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency (SWEDEN - Tags: SPORT SKIING) ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES
Kikkan Randall of the U.S. poses with the trophy during a ceremony for winning the total FIS sprint World Cup cross country ski in Falun, March 14, 2014. REUTERS/Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency (SWEDEN - Tags: SPORT SKIING) ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. NO COMMERCIAL SALES
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“The color pink has taken on a new chapter in my life as I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Although we caught it early and the prognosis is good, my life will change quite a bit in the coming months,” she wrote.
“It’s a scary thing to learn you have cancer and I have wondered every day since how this could have possibly happened to me. But I have promised myself that I will remain positive and active and determined throughout my treatment. I am going to bring as much tenacity, strength, and energy toward this challenge as I have throughout my entire career.”
Randall revealed that she began chemotherapy on Monday. She even made sure to “get a gym workout in” beforehand and ride her bike to and from the hospital.
When Randall and Diggins captured the gold in PyeongChang, they made history. The duo became the first female American cross country skiers to win an Olympic medal — and they did so in dramatic fashion.
Randall started in pole position and set the pace, but Diggins initially fell back to third before a ferocious sprint to the finish line ahead of Norway and Sweden to finish in 15:56.47 — just ahead of the Swedish duo.
On top of that, they won the United States its first ever — man, woman, team or individual — medal in ski sprint.
And Randall did it in her fifth Olympics and 19th event overall.
Jesse Diggins and Kikkan Randall win the women’s free sprint gold. Randall competed in 18 events before her first medal — an Olympic record.
Randall did not compete in 2015-16 and then had a son, Breck, in April 2016. Even after that time away from the sport, she was able to earn a spot on the U.S. team for the PyeongChang games. It paid off in a big way.