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Hometown brings inspiration to Alaska Olympian

By Rontina McCann 11:00 AM January 8, 2014

U.S. Olympian Kikkan Randall says growing up in Alaska helped her become a hardy competitor and champion cross-country skier.

ANCHORAGE – U.S. Olympian Kikkan Randall said growing up in Alaska shaped her as a person and athlete.

She said it turned her into a hardy competitor and champion cross-country skier. Taking a break from training in Davos, Switzerland to speak via Skype, Randall said success in Sochi means even more success back home.

“To have success in Sochi, representing Alaska: You know, what that can do in terms of going and inspiring another group of Alaskans to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle and chase their dreams — that is a really cool part of being an Olympian,” Randall said. “You get to be a leader for inspiration and bring out the best in people.”

Randall, 31, said Alaskans have a unique opportunity and access to winter Olympians who call Anchorage home. She said her hometown inspirations include her aunt and uncle, Betsy and Chris Haines. The pair of Olympians competed in cross-country skiing.

“The winter Olympians are part of the community,” Randall said. “You see them training, you see them in the grocery store, that just makes the goals that much more attainable.”

Randall will return to Anchorage in mid-March.

For more on Randall, her competitions and community involvement, click here.

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