Mikaela Shiffrin went from rising star to one of the best ski racers in American history in a matter of years. The only question is, how far and fast can she go? (Getty Images/Agence Zoom/Alexis Boichard)
After winning the slalom gold at the World Championships, Mikaela Shiffrin took some time to say thank you to every fan, volunteer and organizer of the event in her hometown by writing this letter.
Through rain and soft snow in Maribor, Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) had two flawless slalom runs at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup, never giving up first place.
The best female ski racers in the world competed in front of a rowdy Slovenian crowd on Saturday that rivaled that of the World Championships in Beaver Creek, CO.
Now that the stands are empty, the cowbells have quieted and the dust has settled on the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek, all that is left is the memories.
The U.S. Ski Team wrapped up the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships with a strong closing weekend, finishing with five medals.
The Vail/Beaver Creek community turned out in force to cheer on their hometown superstar, Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) in Saturday’s slalom, and Shiffrin treated her family, friends and fans to a triumphant show.
The speed races wrapped on Beaver Creek’s renowned Birds of Prey terrain and the World Champs focus switched to the technical events. Of the 116 women at the World Championships GS on Thursday, Mikaela Shiffrin took eighth and Lindsey Vonn was 14th.
Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn have both served as the team’s top-ranking female athletes. Thursday's World Champs GS will be the first time the public will see them compete head-to-head at the Championships.
During Tuesday’s World Champs nations team event, the Canadians stole the show with a silver medal, defeated by the indelible Austrians. The American team made it to the first two rounds, but was ousted in the quarterfinals, tying for fifth.
Tuesday afternoon is the nations team event—a duel paneled slalom at Vail, CO as a part of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Athletes and organizers boast that it’s the most fun race of the two weeks, but what exactly is this team event?
The U.S. Ski Team has announced the addition of Brandon Dyksterhouse to its women’s technical team as part of a unique partnership with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.
The women raced under the lights in Flachau, Austria for the last Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom before the World Championships. Mikaela Shiffrin had a speedy second run, skiing from eighth place to grab third place overall.
Liberty Mutual Play Positive asked U.S. Ski Team athlete Mikaela Shiffrin to share her playlist of the top 5 songs she listens to when preparing for a big competition.
VIDEO: Shiffrin Wins Slalom by 1.68
Mikaela Shiffrin claimed the Snow Queen Trophy with a 1.68 second slalom win in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Zagreb.
Mikaela Shiffrin Quick Facts
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Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin began turning heads almost instantly when she finished top 15 in her first two NorAm Cup races. But the heads started spinning when she won a super combined in British Colombia two weeks later, and then ski fans and coaches went cross-eyed when she landed a World Cup podium during her rookie season – at age 16. She then proceeded to blow the world apart with a World Championship slalom gold medal and the World Cup slalom title during her sophomore year. She topped herself again in 2014, earning five more World Cup wins, giant slalom podiums, an Olympic gold medal and a second-straight slalom title.
Shiffrin's meteoric rise into the World Cup elite wasn't a surprise to anyone who's been paying attention. With the work ethic and passion of a veteran, Shiffrin posted her first World Cup starts as a 15-year-old and nearly scored her first points. Her first podium happened a year later (2012), and then she let loose. Here’s summary of her past two seasons:
And let’s not forget that after two giant slalom podiums last season, she’s now a legit threat in two disciplines with the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships coming to her hometown. Safe to say…the future is bright.
I wish I could have an American flag on my back in every World Cup, because that’s a really cool feeling to hold that and know that you’re representing not only yourself or your family or your team but also your entire country. I owe this to so many people and I’m really glad that I could share it with them. Really, it’s not just me up here, it’s the entire U.S. I’ve seen all the tweets and all of the support and all of the critics; every single one of them has pushed me to this point and I owe this to them as well.
I always dream of the best-case scenario and accept it if it doesn’t happen, but I’m really glad that it did today. I’ve just got to keep going. It’s an amazing feeling to win an Olympic gold. It’s going to be something that I chalk up as one of my favorite experiences for the rest of my life, but my life is not over yet.
"When I was a J5 I did a lot of freeskiing and I actually didn't like freeskiing. I just thought it was a waste of time and I would've rather been training or directed freeskiing. I always wanted to be thinking of something, whether it was arms forward or my parents had a saying 'knees to skis and hands in front'–it's been drilled into my head and every time I get on snow that's what I start thinking. I did freeski a lot. I did do a lot of drills. It was probably 1/3 freeskiing, 1/3 drills, 1/3 gates, and I did a lot of mogul skiing. I loved skiing the bumps, just the rhythm, trying not to eat it on a bump was really fun for me."
All that balanced time on snow paid off in a hurry, and a couple of NorAm wins and a Junior Worlds medal prompted U.S. coaches to give her a call. While walking to her dorm at Burke, she noticed several missed calls from her coach and her father, plus "20 jillion texts." A few weeks later, she was in the start gate at her first World Cup - at age 15.
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