Jessie Diggins

Kikkan Randall
NBC Olympics

Olympic champion Kikkan Randall, cancer survivor, beats NYC Marathon goal

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NEW YORK – Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” blared through the loudspeakers in Central Park as Kikkan Randall crossed the finish line of the New York City Marathon.

The Olympic cross-country skiing champion clocked 2:55:12, easily beating her three-hour goal, just one year after her final round of chemotherapy for stage 2 breast cancer.

“I bet I ran as fast today as I would have last year if I hadn’t had cancer,” Randall said.

Randall immediately received a hug from 1984 Olympic marathon champion Joan Benoit Samuelson, who had texted her advice during training.

“[Cancer] is part of my story, but it’s not the defining thing,” Randall said. “I love being an athlete and facing challenging goals.”

The last 20 months have been a roller coaster for Randall, who will turn 37 on New Year’s Eve.

She won the U.S.’ first cross-country skiing gold medal with Jessie Diggins in the team sprint at her fifth and final Olympics in PyeongChang. She planned on celebrating her retirement from ski racing by running the November 2018 New York City Marathon.

But after a Mother’s Day hike with her husband Jeff Ellis and their 2-year-old son Breck, less than three months after February 2018 Winter Games, she discovered a lump in her right breast. It was later diagnosed as stage 2 breast cancer.

She underwent six rounds of chemotherapy in the summer and fall of 2018. She is “pretty confident” that she has been cancer-free since Nov. 2018.

She remained physically active and even considered keeping her 2018 marathon entry, but instead traveled to New York to support Olympic teammate Liz Stephen.

Last Halloween, bald from chemotherapy, Randall dressed as Mr. Clean.

This Halloween, with trademark pink streaks back in her hair, she went as a unicorn.

Randall ran with Stephen during most of the 2019 race. But with half a mile to go, Randall had enough energy to push the pace and Stephen, who finished 25 seconds later, encouraged her to sprint ahead.

“My engine is still so strong from skiing,” Randall said. “It’s my legs that are like, ‘whoo!’”

Randall will decide in the spring whether she wants to run the 2020 race. In the meantime, she would like to complete an off-road triathlon.

“I love having a goal,” she said.

Crossing the finish line was a feeling Randall did not experience during her PyeongChang triumph, since Diggins completed the final leg of the six-lap race (inspiring the memorable “Here comes Diggins! Here comes Diggins!” call).

“Crossing the finish line in any race, especially when you hit the goal that you want, is such a great feeling,” Randall said. “It makes it worth it.”

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MORE: 2019 New York City Marathon Results 

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‘Lucky loser’ Diggins crashes sprint final, gets first World Cup win of season

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Jessie Diggins, one half of the U.S. sprint team to win the first Olympic gold medal for the U.S. in cross-country skiing in 2018, won her first World Cup race of the season in Italy.

With the start of the 2019 Nordic World Ski Championship just days away, Diggins clawed her way to the front of the pack in the women’s sprint, stretching at the line to overtake Germany’s Sandara Ringwald for the win.

“There’s been lots of ups-and-downs this year,” Diggins said after the race. “I’ve been sick a lot, there’s been a lot of doubt, and sometimes losing my self-confidence, so i think it’s good to remember that you don’t know what’s going to happen until the last 100m of any race and you have to keep believing in yourself and keep pushing the whole way.”

Diggins was fortunate to even make it through to the final race. Her 3 minutes and 32.14 second time in the semifinals was the slowest of the six women to advance to the final, but it was fast enough to get her in, and that’s all she needed.

Diggins’ U.S. teammate Sadie Bjornsen also advanced to the final, finishing the day in fifth. Bjornsen finished the day in fifth. Sophie Caldwell, currently fourth in World Cup sprint points this season, also raced for the U.S. but was unable to advance past her quarterfinal heat in Cogne.

Full results are here.

The top three sprinters on the World Cup this season, Sweden’s Stina Nilsson and Maja Dahlqvist along with Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla were not racing this weekend in Italy. Nilsson has not raced since she injured herself in a race in January in Estonia.

In the men’s sprint, Italy’s Frederico Pellegrino claimed the top podium spot, while the U.S. Simi Hamilton posted his best finish of the season, ending up just off the podium in fourth.

Full results are here.

Racing continues in Cogne, Italy tomorrow with the women’s 10km (3:45 a.m. ET) and men’s 15km (6:30 a.m. ET). Watch both races live on OlympicChannel.com or with an NBC Sports Gold Snow Pass.

What to watch this week in winter sports

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Planning to make her much-anticipated season debut this weekend, Lindsey Vonn will have to wait after scheduled races in St. Anton, Austria, were cancelled due to weather. Vonn, who sat out the start of the season with a knee injury, is now expected to make her season debut in Cortina, Italy, next week. A downhill race is scheduled for Friday, January 18, to replace the cancelled downhill in St. Anton. Another downhill will take place on Saturday, January 19, with super-G on Sunday, January 20. Vonn is expected to race all three.

Alpine action this weekend is headlined by two-time Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety, who is expected to lead a deep U.S. contingent in giant slalom, airing live Saturday on Olympic Channel.

A trio of Olympic medalists – Sochi Olympic champion Joss Christensen, two-time Olympic medalist Nick Goepper, and Sochi silver medalist Devin Logan headline the U.S. contingent in slopestyle as the freestyle skiing World Cup continues in Font Romeu, France.

PyeongChang Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins is expected to compete in two sprint events as the cross-country skiing World Cup moves to Dresden, Germany.

ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP — Adelboden, Switzerland

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 4:15 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold
 Sunday 4:15 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 1) NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 2) Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay Races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

BIATHLON WORLD CUP — Oberhof, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Thursday 8:20 a.m. Women’s 7.5km Sprint Olympic Channel
12:00 p.m. Women’s 7.5km Sprint* Olympic Channel
Friday 8:20 a.m. Men’s 10km Sprint Olympic Channel
12:00 p.m. Men’s 10km Sprint* Olympic Channel
Saturday 6:35 a.m. Women’s 10km Pursuit Olympic Channel
8:50 a.m. Men’s 12.5km Pursuit Olympic Channel
9:30 p.m. Women’s 10km Pursuit* Olympic Channel
10:30 p.m. Men’s 12.5km Pursuit* Olympic Channel
Sunday 5:35 a.m. Women’s 4x6km Relay Olympic Channel
8:20 a.m. Men’s 4×7.5km Relay Olympic Channel
3:00 p.m. Women’s 4x6km Relay* Olympic Channel
4:00 p.m. Women’s 4×7.5km Relay* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay Races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

BOBSLED AND SKELETON WORLD CUP — Koenigssee, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 4:00 a.m. Men’s skeleton, Run 1 Olympic Channel
5:45 a.m. Men’s skeleton, Run 2 Olympic Channel
7:30 a.m. Women’s skeleton, Run 1 Olympic Channel
8:00 a.m. Men’s skeleton, Run 2* Olympic Channel
9:00 a.m. Women’s skeleton, Run 2 Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
Saturday 7:30 a.m. Women’s bobsled, Run 1 Olympic Channel
9:00 a.m. Women’s bobsled, Run 2 Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
10:30 a.m. Two-man bobsled, Run 1 Olympic Channel
12:00 p.m. Two-man bobsled, Run 2 Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
Sunday 7:30 a.m. Four-man bobsled, Run 1 Olympic Channel
9:00 a.m. Four-man bobsled, Run 2 Olympic Channel Olympic Channel

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING WORLD CUP — Dresden, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 7:15 a.m. Men’s & Women’s Sprint NBC Sports Gold
1:00 p.m. Men’s & Women’s Sprint* Olympic Channel
Sunday 6:40 a.m. Men’s & Women’s Team Sprint NBC Sports Gold
1:00 p.m. Men’s & Women’s Team Sprint* Olympic Channel
Monday 12:00 a.m. Men’s & Women’s Team Sprint* NBCSN

*Same-day delay Races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

FREESTYLE SKIING WORLD CUP — Font Romeu, France and Calgary, Canada

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 7:30 a.m. Slopestyle NBC Sports Gold
2:00 p.m. Slopestyle* Olympic Channel
3:30 p.m. Moguls Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay All events stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

LUGE WORLD CUP — Font Romeu, France and Calgary, Canada

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 7:45 a.m. Doubles (Run 1) Olympic Channel
9:05 a.m. Doubles (Run 2) Olympic Channel
10:30 a.m. Women’s Singles (Run 1) Olympic Channel
11:55 a.m. Women’s Singles (Run 2) Olympic Channel
6:30 p.m. Doubles (Run 2)* Olympic Channel
7:00 p.m. Women’s Singles (Run 2)* Olympic Channel
Sunday 2:55 a.m. Men’s Singles (Run 1) Olympic Channel
4:30 a.m. Men’s Singles (Run 1) Olympic Channel
6:40 a.m. Team relay Olympic Channel
2:00 p.m. Men’s singles (Run 2)* Olympic Channel
Monday 11:00 p.m. Men’s singles (Run 2)* NBCSN

NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUP — Val di Fiemme, Italy

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 3:55 a.m. Men’s HS135 NBC Sports Gold
7:25 a.m. Men’s 10km NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 3:55 a.m. Men’s HS135 NBC Sports Gold
8:05 a.m. Men’s Team Sprint 7.5km NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 3:55 a.m. Men’s HS135 NBC Sports Gold
8:25 a.m. Men’s 10km NBC Sports Gold

SKI JUMPING WORLD CUP — Val di Fiemme, Italy and Sapporo, Japan

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 11:55 a.m. Men’s Individual (Qual.) NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 2:20 a.m. Women’s Individual NBC Sports Gold
9:55 a.m. Men’s Individual NBC Sports Gold
10:30 a.m. Women’s Individual* Olympic Channel
5:00 p.m. Men’s Individual* Olympic Channel
7:50 p.m. Women’s Individual NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 10:30 a.m. Women’s Individual* Olympic Channel
10:55 a.m. Men’s Individual NBC Sports Gold
5:00 p.m. Men’s Individual* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay All events stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

EUROPEAN SHORT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS — Dordrecht, Netherlands

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 9:30 a.m. Day 1 NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 5:05 a.m. Day 2 NBC Sports Gold

EUROPEAN SPEED SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS — Collalbo, Italy

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 7:30 a.m. Day 1 NBC Sports Gold
3 p.m. Day 1* Olympic Channel
Saturday 5:05 a.m. Day 2 NBC Sports Gold
8:00 p.m. Day 2* Olympic Channel
Sunday 1:30 a.m. Day 2* NBCSN
6:30 a.m. Day 3 NBC Sports Gold
8:00 p.m. Day 3* Olympic Channel
Monday 1:00 a.m. Day 3* NBCSN

*Same-day delay All events stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

SNOWBOARDING WORLD CUP — Bad Gastein and Kreischberg, Austria

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Wednesday 7:00 a.m. Team Parallel Slalom NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 6:30 a.m. Slopestyle NBC Sports Gold