The Highmark QUAD Games was committed to providing safe, virtual events during the 2020/21 series and it has paid off! With just under 200 registered participants they received their biggest surprise with the latest virtual ski/snowshoe registrant – Kikkan Randall – USA Ski Team Gold Medalist from the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Highmark QUAD Director Kelly Latimer was able to speak with Randall via Zoom. Randall stated that she may have to complete her 5-mile event in Alaska but is committed to getting it done. She also wanted to remind participants that she is retired and to not hold her to an Olympic standard, but hopes to set a time that other participants can chase (or even beat).
Two months after winning Olympic gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics, Randall was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has been pretty open about her fight against cancer. The Highmark QUAD finds this very inspirational as they have seen a number of participants use the QUAD Games as an outlet through their fight against cancer.
This is not the first Olympic athlete to participate in the Highmark QUAD Games. In 1985, America long distance runner Frank Shorter participated in the run leg of the series. Shorter won a gold medal in the marathon in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.
With many events have been cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, the Highmark QUAD wasn’t going to be sidelined without a fight. In April of 2020, organizers decided to move forward with the Highmark QUAD Games but as a virtual series. With just under 200 participants, this year has been full of fun changes! With a more laid back approach, participants can compete in their 4-event series anywhere. Encouraged to take pictures and participate in fun competitions like the best cannonball during the swim or snow angel during the ski/snowshoe. Participants have until February 13, 2021 to submit a time for their ski or snowshoe.
The Highmark QUAD Games plans to host live events in 2021. They will kick off the 2021/22 Series with the 12-mile bike ride on Saturday, July 10, 2021 in Edinboro, PA. The swim event will take place in November of 2021 to ensure that all events can be help following proper, safety protocol.