Back to Friends for Life 2010 Conference 2010 Friends for Life Special Guest Kris Freeman
Special Guest Kris Freeman

New Hampshire's Kris Freeman, a Type 1 diabetic, has posted the best U.S. cross country distance results since the Bill Koch era of the early Eighties. His accolades include winning the inaugural Under-23 championships race in Italy, being the first American to qualify for the exclusive "Red Group" -­ the top 30 athletes on the World Cup circuit and, among others, placing fourth at the 2003 World Championships (the best U.S. result in 21 years). He repeated in fourth-place performance at the 2009 World Championships.

An athlete who spent his summer immersed in his training, Freeman started out the 2009 season with strong results at U.S. Championships, taking titles in the classic sprint as well as the 10K freestyle. But, it was his narrow miss of the podium in the 15K classic by just over a second at World Championships that highlighted Freeman's season. "The best skiers in the world and I was fourth in it -- I told my coach, I didn't know whether to have a party or go cry in the corner," Freeman said. The finish was nearly identical to his 2003 World Championship finish in the same event. "This [finish in Liberec] is a huge confidence booster. Both times I was about two seconds from a medal so that's really frustrating. But on the flipside, they were both very good races and it shows I have a chance at a medal next year," Freeman said.

Dad would pull young Freeman around on a sled; at 2, he was skiing and early in his teens he tried Nordic combined for a couple of seasons before focusing on cross country. He also was an outstanding high school runner. He took leave from the University of Vermont after one season, joining the U.S. cross country residence program in Park City in 2000. ("I'll definitely get a degree, but I couldn't give it the attention it needs now.")

"Bird"...My career thumbnail -- "Anything I do away from skiing takes away from my skiing”...An ardent spokesman for diabetes awareness...I plan on returning to college after retiring from racing...Having older brother Justin as a 2006 Olympic teammate was extra special for both of us...

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Last Updated: Monday May 10, 2010 13:30:00
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