Some nicknames just fit. Take “Kikkanimal,” for instance, the kickingest Nordic racer the U.S. has ever known. Her list of firsts for U.S. women—World Cup podium, World Cup victory, World Championships medal, Olympic top ten, World Cup overall sprint champion, World Championships team gold—is especially impressive given how much runway still lies ahead. As Kikkan explains it, “Cross country skiers are like a fine wine—we just seem to be getting better with age!” Though she made her mark as a sprinter, Kikkan now has medals in 5K and 10K as well. As a state champ high school cross-country and track runner in Alaska, Kikkan started competitive Nordic skiing to train in the off-season. She made the Olympic team in 2002, in her birthplace of Salt Lake City, and now has her eye on her fourth Olympics. At home, Kikkan trains and studies at Alaska Pacific University and is an ambassador for Fast and Female, an empowerment workshop program for young girls.
Gear Inspired by Kikkan
With seventeen U.S. titles and five World Cup wins so far, Kikkan needs something to keep her warm on the podium, and this cozy sweater is perfect.