Alaskan and Olympian Kikkan Randall says she’s being treated for breast cancer, fresh from capturing a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Randall made the stunning announcement Wednesday morning on her Facebook page, telling fans that “[t]he color pink has taken on a new chapter in my life.”

“Although we caught it early and the prognosis is good, my life will change quite a bit in the coming months,” Randall wrote. “I have returned to Anchorage for treatment at [Providence Alaska Medical Center’s] Cancer Center.”

Randall began treatment Monday, she said.

“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,” Randall wrote. “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.”

The latest Olympic moment for Randall came during the women’s team sprint in February, during which she and teammate Jessica Diggins overtook Sweden’s Stina Nilsson. Soon afterward, Randall was elected by her fellow Olympians to the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

Randall, popularly known as "Kikkanimal" for her fierce training regimen and stamina during distance events, is known for never refusing an autograph request. After her return from South Korea, she carried the gold medal she won with Diggins in her pocket and posed for photos with anyone who asked to see it.

During a CBS interview about being both a mother and an Olympian, Randall said she was buoyed by support throughout her hometown.

“It takes years and years to get to the top; it’s a full-time commitment and being a mom, I’ve got to manage that with a toddler,” Randall said. “I’ve got this amazing community of support around me, and my team is helping me raise my son. The fact that we get to do it as a family and – you know, taking him out there and carrying him on my back – has really just helped me get stronger than ever.”

Dave Goldman contributed information to this story. 

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