A couple of months ago, I discovered I had reached the 20-year anniversary of my first Star Tribune byline.

I've seen many things and covered plenty of breathtaking athletes since my first effort in June 1998 (covering a high school golf state championship), but at the risk of advancing a cliché here is my personal "Mount Rushmore" of local athletes in the past 20 years (in no particular order):

Randy Moss. Kevin Garnett. Joe Mauer. Lindsay Whalen.

The guy who changed the Vikings' franchise. The former NBA MVP. The hometown hero and MLB MVP. And the most accomplished player of them all.

What Whalen has managed to do with the Gophers, Lynx and as an Olympian is nothing short of amazing.

And the coolest part is that we get to see if she can write another local chapter now as Gophers head coach.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.