Kris Freeman, one of the U.S.'s most elite cross-country skiers will compete in his first event of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi on Sunday, February 9th. Freeman is a four-time Olympian and considered to be one of the most successful American cross-country skiers of all time. Kris is a U-23 World Champion, 16x National Champion, and a type 1 diabetic. And, as many athletes with diabetes quickly discover, diabetes can often be the biggest hurdle to get past. The disease has been known to work against an athlete during competitions.
Kris was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes fourteen years ago. He is one of few professional athletes with type 1 diabetes to compete at the world level. Since spring 2008, he has worn an innovative tubeless insulin pump called the Omnipod that adheres to his skin and delivers insulin so that he does not need to inject it. He also wears a continuous glucose monitor which notifies him of his blood glucose levels every five minutes. Kris often visits with young athletes at diabetes camps to deliver one main message: "There's no limits to what you can do with this disease." (Today Show, February 10, 2010)
As Kris stated in a recent blog on his website, "When things don’t go your way in a xc race it is hard to determine exactly what the problems are. There are the usual waxing disparities and varying pacing strategies as well as countless different methods of training and preparation. Wading through those variables to find the best way to maximize your body’s potential is a daunting task. Throwing diabetes into the mix can sometimes feel like throwing darts at an ocean. ... I have no choice but to continue trying my best. I have always been an inconsistent performer. Some days I can ski with the best in the world and some days I struggle just to finish. My doctors and I have been unsuccessful determining what makes the difference on my good and bad days. What we do know is that there would be no good days if I were to give up, so I keep going out and giving my all. When the stars align I am one of the best in the world."
Undoubtably, Kris Feeeman is a remarkable example of his own motto about "no limits" as he competes for his ultimate goal of a medal for the U.S. Ski Team. Kris's first event of the 2014 Olympics is the 30k skiathelon scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 9th. His goal of course ... nothing short of a gold medal for the U.S. Ski Team.