Kris Freeman - Olympic and National Champion Cross-Country Skier
Claim to Fame: Olympic and National Champion Cross-Country Skier
Diabetes Type: 1
Quote: "I am thrilled to return to the Olympics and very grateful I am able to do so with my diabetes well controlled."
In a sport where athletes typically peak in their late twenties, Kris Freeman, at the age of 25, was already a four-time national champion, the number one cross-country skier in the United States and the second most successful American cross-country skier of all time. He is also a medal contender in all three cross-country skiing distance events. In 2003, Kris finished sixth and fifth in two consecutive World Cups, the best finish by an American in 20 years and became the first American ever to finish in the top 20 overall at the end of the season. Kris results at the 2003 Nordic World Championships and the Under 23 Championship confirmed his status as a medal contender for the 2006 Olympics.
Kris was selected to compete in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver as a part of the U.S. Ski Team. He won his 13th national championship in the 2009 season by taking the 15-kilometer race at the U.S. Cross-Country Ski Championships. Kris also took fourth place at the Liberac Czech Republic 15k Classic World Championships.
In 2003, Kris finished fourth in the 15km classical race at the 2003 World Championships in Val Di Fimme, Italy. This was the second best finish by an American cross-country skier ever and the best American finish since 1982. He set a new record at the Kuusamo Finland Classic World Cup in November of 2009, finishing fourth with the best U.S. distance finish in a World Cup since 1983. Kris also won the opening leg of the relay at the World Championships, finishing ahead of a field of Olympic and world champion medallists. In addition, Kris won the 30 km classical at the inaugural Under 23 World Championships in Bormio, Italy and two national championship titles at the 2003 Chevy Truck U.S. Cross-Country Championships.
At the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, Kris burst onto the world scene with two top-25 finishes; he placed 22nd in the 15 km classic and 15th in the 10 km pursuit. He also obtained the sixth fastest time overall in the 4 x 10 km team relay, helping the U.S. team obtain fifth place - the best Olympic finish for the U.S. cross-country ski team in history.
Other examples of Kris accomplishments include:
- Champion 2002 U.S. Ski Team Spring Series;
- Champion 2002/2003 North American Continental Cup Series;
- Champion 30 km classic 2000 U.S. Cross-Country Championships, January 2000;
- 14th World Championship Pursuit, February 2003;
- 4th place Under 23 Championship Pursuit, February 2003;
- 2nd place in the 10 km freestyle, U.S. Cross-Country Championships, January 2003;
- 3rd place in the 10 km freestyle, U.S. Cross-Country Championships, January 2002;
- 2nd place in the 10 km freestyle, U.S. Gold Cup, December 2001;
- Member U.S. Ski Team, 2000 - Present.
Kris record is even more impressive because he overcame a major hurdle to become a top cross-country skier. In August 2000, in the midst of training for the Olympics, Kris was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He thought his skiing days were over. However, through a balanced diet, frequent blood sugar monitoring and insulin therapy, Kris gained control of his disease and remained competitive.
In 2001, Kris became a spokesperson for Eli Lilly and Company, the makers of the insulin he takes to control his diabetes. Throughout 2006, Kris will travel the country promoting the message that with proper care, people with diabetes can have full and active lifestyles.
Kris was born and raised in Andover, New Hampshire. At the age of one, Kris father introduced him to cross-country skiing by pulling him in a sled as he skied. He has loved the sport ever since.
Kris Freeman at the 2005 World Cup in Oberstdorf, Germany.
(Courtesy of Andrew Cardiff)
Kris Freeman at the 2005 World Cup in Kuusamo, Finland.
(Courtesy of Michael Spencer/Ego Sports)
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