Three-time Olympian Kikkan Randall of Anchorage was disappointed not to advance out of the quarterfinals in Wednesday's World Cup classic sprint in Stockholm, Sweden, but she received ample consolation.
As nordic skiing royalty, Randall received her crystal globe as the World Cup's overall sprint champion, for the second straight year, by none other than, well, royalty: King Carl Gustav of Sweden.
"When I was injured (last) fall, I didn't know if I would be in contention for the globe again this year and I'm so grateful to have recovered and to have been competitive the whole season,'' Randall wrote in an email. "The feeling of the second one is definitely different than the first.
"Last year, I felt so wide eyed and giddy. This year feels a little more familiar and a nice validation that last year wasn't a fluke. It was great to have the King of Sweden present the awards again and it's always an amazing feeling to hear our national anthem played out loud.''
Randall finished 22nd overall, and second among Americans, behind Ida Sargent's 20th. Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland won the race.
Olympian Holly Brooks of Anchorage finished 27th and Rosie Brennan took 40th.
Randall, Brooks and Brennan all train with Alaska Pacific University's Nordic Ski Center program.