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Olympic champion Kikkan Randall will run NYC Marathon four months after breast cancer treatment

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Kikkan Randall, who was diagnosed with breast cancer soon after a gold medal in the cross-country skiing team sprint at the 2018 Olympics, will run Nov. 3 in the New York City Marathon as part of a group of people with inspirational stories, race organizers announced Monday.

Randall has been named as one of 26 runners on Team #MovedMe. Other runners in the group include Dave Fraser, who was born with cerebral palsy and will be running his 12th NYC Marathon; Sean Hennessey, a former college athlete and recovering addict; and Mama Cax, a model with a prosthetic leg.

Randall racked up medals in World Cup and World Championship competition from 2009 to 2014 and went into the 2014 Olympics as a heavy favorite in the sprint, but she struggled and lost in the quarterfinals. Four years later, after taking time off to start a family, she and Jessie Diggins teamed up to win the team sprint in Pyeongchang, only the second cross-country skiing medal the U.S. has ever won and the first for U.S. women.

VIDEO: Randall and Diggins take gold

She revealed her breast cancer diagnosis in July 2018 and blogged about her treatment for the next several months. Known for having pink streaks in her hair, she quickly went bald during chemotherapy and showed off her new look in an August 2018 blog post.

In the last few months, she has put more of her story on social media, and she showed that the pink is back.

 

On July 2, she announced that she had completed infusion treatment.

Randall will be running on behalf of AKTIV Against Cancer, which works to ensure physical activity for cancer patients. Coincidentally, the foundation was established by a nine-time NYC Marathon winner, Grete Waitz.

She is also a board member of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

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Dan Hicks, Rowdy Gaines call backyard pool swim race

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Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines covered swimming together at the last six Olympics, including every one of Michael Phelps‘ finals, but they’ve never called a “race” quite like this.

“We heard you were looking for something to commentate during the down time….might this short short short course 100 IM help?” tweeted Cathleen Pruden, posting a video of younger sister Mary Pruden, a sophomore swimmer at Columbia University, taking individual medley strokes in what appeared to be an inflatable backyard pool.

“Hang on,” Gaines replied. “This race of the century deserves the right call. @DanHicksNBC and I are working some magic!”

Later, Hicks posted a revised video dubbed with commentary from he and Gaines.

They became the latest commentators to go beyond the booth to post calls on social media while sports are halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NBC Sports hockey voice Doc Emrick (who has also called Olympic hockey and water polo) did play-by-play of a windshield wiper installation.

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MORE: Ledecky, Manuel welcome Olympic decision after training in backyard pool

Which athletes are qualified for the U.S. Olympic team?

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Soon after Tokyo Olympic qualifying events began getting postponed, the International Olympic Committee announced that all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes.

The IOC repeated that position over the last week, after the Tokyo Games were postponed (now to open July 23, 2021). What does that mean for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee?

Well, 76 athletes qualified for the U.S. Olympic team before the Olympic postponement was announced. That full list is here.

Those 76 athletes can be separated into two categories.

  • Athletes who earned Olympic spots BY NAME via International Federation (i.e. International Surfing Association or International Aquatics Federation) selection procedures.
  • Athletes named to the U.S. Olympic team by their national governing body (i.e. USA Swimming or USA Track and Field) and confirmed by the USOPC using NGB selection procedures after the NGB earned a quota spot.

When the IOC says “all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes,” it means just that. USA Softball still has 15 athlete quota spots from qualifying a full team via international results. Surfer Kolohe Andino still has his Olympic spot from qualifying BY NAME via the International Surfing Association selection procedures route.

USA Softball named its 15-player Olympic roster last fall. Those 15 athletes did not earn Olympic quota spots for themselves. Unlike Andino (and 13 other American qualifiers across all sports), the 15 softball players had to be nominated by USA Softball and confirmed by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Unless and until the USOPC confirms that any of those other 62 athletes remain qualified, for now the list of U.S. Olympic qualifiers is these 14 who qualified BY NAME:

Karate (1)
Sakura Kokumai

Modern Pentathlon (2)
Samantha Achterberg
Amro Elgeziry

Swimming (3)
Haley Anderson
Ashley Twichell
Jordan Wilimovsky

Sport Climbing (4)
Kyra Condie
Brooke Raboutou
Nathaniel Coleman
Colin Duffy

Surfing (4)
Caroline Marks
Carissa Moore
Kolohe Andino
John John Florence

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MORE: Qualified athletes go into limbo with Tokyo postponement