S: Do you have Olympic aspirations for 2018 in South Korea?
K: I’m not going to rule it out but I’d say the likelihood isn’t great. I’m will only continue ski racing as long as I can stay at a very high, international level. Definitely racing next year and if I continue to race to my standards then I will continue the next year, and the next year and that year will be an Olympic year. If I’m tired and my body is not responding to training anymore, as sometimes people don’t when they reach my age, then this next year will be my last year. But I don’t expect it to be.
S: So your professional skiing goals are to keep skiing and doing your best, and see where that leads you?
K: I have higher goals than that. I’d like a top ten finish at the World Championships next year, I’d like to stand on top of the podium again at U.S. Nationals. I think that those are both attainable goals, they are also high goals. I’m not interested in staying in the sport to watch my skills slowly deteriorate. I want to stay in while I’m still competitive and I’m going to give myself another year to do that.
S: What do you want to do after skiing ends?
K: I plan on venting my competitiveness by going into semi-pro triathlon, the very next year.
S: Aside from the competitive nature of the sport, what do you love about skiing?
K: One of the coolest things about cross country skiing is that you never have to stop, you don’t get to the bottom of a run and have to get on a lift. Every time I do it I get a little better at it, a little more efficient. To just know that I can go out and ski fifty miles without being exhausted, just kind of gliding… it is really cool. I’ve been exposed to and competed in all kinds of skiing, but cross country is what brings me back.
S: I wanted to finish by sharing something with you. The day after your NBC interview Arden went to school and talked about you during her share time. She told her class that she knew a man that was in the Olympics and that he skis on “those really difficult courses”. His name is Kris and he has diabetes just like me, he even wears the same insulin pump and CGM as me.
I explained to Kris that the kids are all aware of Arden’s type I and about how we manage her BGs during the day without her ever leaving class.
Because of our level of transparency, the other children and teachers are very aware of Arden’s diabetes. Even though they see it up close, there are still many who believe that it will limit her. I told Kris that Arden was able to stand in front of her class and tell everyone (in essence) that this person who is competing at the Olympics, this guy who looks like a superhero - he’s me. I don’t have limits.
S: I’m pretty sure that if Arden did that the next day, well, I bet a lot of kids did the same and I’m certain that people with diabetes everywhere also felt that same message of hope and fearlessness from watching you.
K: I hope that’s true, I think that so many of the limits that are placed on diabetics are based more on ignorance or outdated ideas of what the disease means. I like to say that there are no limits to diabetes as long as you take responsibility and treat it.