GRAND RAPIDS, Mich -- This year's Michigan State University Gran Fondo bike race is bringing some big names to Grand Rapids, including cross country skiier and Olympic gold medalist, Kikkan Randall who is now a cancer survivor.
"It's been quite the experience in the past year going through my cancer battle," Randall said, "what it's really made me appreciate is how good it feels to be on the way back up, to be able to get out there and celebrate what we can do."
Just three months after winning gold in the 2018 Olympics, Randall was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. Despite that, she remained active; going running, lifting weights and cycling during her treatments.
"Riding a bicycle was a huge part of my treatment," she added, "I rode to all of my chemo infusions."
Randall just finished her cancer treatment earlier this year and is back to staying active, getting ready for Saturday's race in West Michigan.
"To be out here riding with some incredible riders, I've watched these guys on TV and I'm excited to be out there," she mentioned on racing with Tour de France veterans, "to see a part of Michigan I haven't seen before and raising money for such an amazing cause [is exciting]."
Randall is used to being a role model but it's now for an entirely different reason after beating cancer.
"As an Olympic athlete, I've always loved to share how I set goals and worked hard to get to my Olympic dreams but now to see how those skills apply to battling cancer, it's great to be here and impart some of those things that really helped me."
Randall is spreading her message with fellow riders and fans.
"Everyone is going to face a challenge at some point and it's really about that mindset and the skills you bring to that challenge," she added about her message. "It'll be cool to swap stories with people, I mean I'm also learning a ton every time I relate to someone who also tackled something big so I think it's going to be a great experience."