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Anchorage cross-country skiing star Kikkan Randall spoke with the Wall Street Journal about her disappointing 2014 Olympic effort, which saw her fail to win a medal in the skate sprint event, in which she'd been favored. Randall told the Wall Street Journal that her problems began last December with a back injury she suffered while warming up for a workout in Switzerland.

"The injury didn’t keep Randall off the snow for long. Heat and massage therapy had her back on her skis within days, but the tenderness forced her to lower her intensity dramatically. A schedule filled with difficult interval sessions got replaced with the kind of easy skiing that wasn’t supposed to happen until a tapering period just before the Olympics," WSJ reported. "The rest helped her in competitions earlier in the winter, but Randall arrived in Sochi feeling out of sync. The early January rest had made her peak too early. Her conditioning wasn’t where it was supposed to be."

But despite that disappointment, Randall is gearing up for one more medal attempt at the 2018 Pyeongchang games. She'll have some fresh challenges, the piece points out. First, since Olympic sprint skiing alternates between freestyle (Randall's strength, perhaps better known as skate skiing) and classic, she'll have to master the latter. And then there are her hopes for a "maternity break" before pre-Olympic conditioning gets serious.

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Nat Herz

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