Mikal Kirkholt was born in the small municipality of Rindal, approximately 90 km west of Trondheim. Rindal was well-known in the 1950s for its cross-country skiers, Olympians Edvin Landsem and Magnar Ingebrigtsli also coming from there. Kirkholt had his breakthrough relatively late. In 1951, aged 30, he came second in the 18 km at the National Championships, only 11 seconds behind future Olympic champion Hallgeir Brenden. He got another silver medal in the 30 km, half a minute behind Martin Stokken. In the 1952 Olympic season he qualified for the team by placing fifth over 30 km and seventh in the 18 km at the National Championships, and at Oslo skied the second leg in the relay, winning an Olympic silver medal. He ended his career after the Olympics, married the daughter of Olympic skier John Røen. and worked some years at the aluminum plant in Sunndalsøra. Then he took over the family farm in Rindal, where he died in 2012, aged 91.