U.S. champion back at the Olympics for the first time as a mom

Five-time Olympian Kikkan Randall thinks that being a mom has actually helped her become a better athlete.

Mom & athlete: Kikkan Randall

Sport: Cross country skiing

Kikkan Randall from Anchorage, Alaska, is the most decorated cross country skier in U.S. history. She's a 17-time U.S. National champ and a three-time World Cup champion. But an Olympic medal is the one thing still sitting out there that she'd like to get before she's done.

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In PyeongChang, Randall will be competing in her fifth Olympic games and chasing her lifelong dreams. But this will be the first time she'll be doing it as a mom.

"I knew I wanted to keep racing and support the team, but I also knew I wanted to start a family," Randall explained.

On April 14, 2016, Breck Stuart Randall Ellis was born.

Five-time Olympian Kikkan Randall believes the birth of her son, Breck Stuart Randall Ellis, has made life as an athlete much easier.

"We are so lucky, Breck is an awesome kid, generally pretty happy all the time and if he is upset, he's hungry or wants to be moving, but he's been a trooper traveling the world with us."

While her priorities have changed since Breck's birth, her love for skiing and her talent hasn't faded. She even thinks that being a mom has actually helped her become a better athlete.

"As an athlete your life is very self centered," Randall explained, "you need to get your rest, and once he came into my life it was very clear that now I'm doing what he needs to do. So I'll get my sleep when I can and get out to training when I can, but the best part of that is it makes you appreciate the time you get to spend on your sport chasing your passion."

So while training year-round and competing on the world's biggest stage can be tough, Kikkan believes little Breck has made life as an athlete much easier.

Kikkan Randall, the best U.S. Women's cross country skier of all time, is preparing for her fifth Olympics. She was the first American woman to win a gold medal at a World Championships.

"It's been really fun to blend motherhood and skiing, which has been my whole life, and to bring my son on the road with me and see different places and the best part about it is, no matter how the workout or the race goes, when I get to come home to that smiling face. It puts everything in perspective and makes me appreciate everything I get to do."