Mikaela Shiffrin | Srivideo
Born/Date of Birth: March 13, 1995 (age 24)
Place of Birth: Vail, Colorado, United States
Height: 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
World Cup debut: March 11, 2011 (age 15)
Education: Burke Mountain Academy
Parents: Jeff Shiffrin, Eileen Shiffrin
Mikaela Pauline Shiffrin (born March 13, 1995) is an American two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup alpine skier. She is the current three-time reigning Overall World Cup champion, the four-time reigning world champion in slalom, and a six-time winner of the World Cup discipline title in that event. Shiffrin is the youngest slalom champion in Olympic alpine skiing history, at 18 years and 345 days.
By winning her second Olympic gold medal in the 2018 giant slalom, Shiffrin tied Ted Ligety and Andrea Mead Lawrence for the most Olympic gold medals ever won by an American Olympian in alpine skiing. She is one of only 5 Americans to ever win the World Cup overall title. She is also the first and only athlete—male or female—with wins in all six FIS Alpine Ski World Cup disciplines. She has won World Cup races in ladies' slalom, parallel slalom, giant slalom, super-G, downhill, and alpine combined. She is the youngest skier—male or female—to win 50 World Cup races at the age of 23 years and 9 months.
She has won 66 World Cup races, the 2nd most all time by a female alpine skier, including 43 WC slalom races, the most won by any alpine skier, male or female. She is the only athlete - male or female - to have won 15 races in the same calendar year, winning the last slalom of the 2018 season in Semmering and surpassing Marcel Hirscher. In the 2019 season she became the first athlete, male or female, to win 17 World Cup races during a season, breaking the record of 14 wins that Vreni Schneider had held for 30 years. By winning the Gold in the Slalom at the 2019 World Championships, she became the first Alpine skier to win the world championship in the same discipline at four consecutive championships.
Background and early years
Born in Vail, Colorado, Shiffrin is the second child of Eileen (née Condron) and Jeff Shiffrin, both originally from the Northeastern United States and former ski racers. Shiffrin's father Jeff grew up in New Jersey, but was an avid skier on weekends in Vermont with his family; as an undergraduate, he raced for Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Her mother Eileen raced in high school in northwestern Massachusetts in the Berkshires, and brother Taylor (born 1992), raced for the University of Denver.
When Mikaela was eight in 2003, the family moved to rural New Hampshire near Lyme, where her father, an anesthesiologist, worked at Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center. After five years, he took a new job in Denver; her older brother Taylor was in high school at Burke Mountain Academy, a ski academy in northeastern Vermont, and stayed in the east. Shiffrin also attended middle school at Burke, but went with her parents to Colorado, before returning to Burke. She has been treated for anxiety disorder and hyperactive type ADHD ever since she was a child.
Shiffrin began rising up through the ranks in alpine racing as soon as she was old enough to compete in FIS-sanctioned races. While meeting the minimum age requirement of 15 years, she won a Nor-Am Cup super combined race in December 2010 at Panorama in British Columbia, only the eighth FIS-level race in which she had competed. Shiffrin followed it up with three podiums in her next three Nor-Am races: runner-up in a super-G, third in a GS, and victory in a slalom. Weeks later, she won a pair of Nor-Am slalom races held at Sunday River, Maine. A month later Shiffrin took the slalom bronze medal at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships held at Crans-Montana, Switzerland (after having been down with a stomach flu the day before).
Shiffrin made her World Cup debut on March 11, 2011, in a giant slalom at Špindlerův Mlýn in the Czech Republic. In early April, just a few weeks after her 16th birthday, she won the slalom title at the US National Championships at Winter Park, Colorado, and became the youngest American ski racer to claim a national alpine crown.
During the 2012 Alpine Skiing World Cup, Shiffrin took her first World Cup podium on December 29, 2011, at a slalom in Lienz, Austria. She started 40th and lost her left shin guard halfway down, but finished in 12th place in the first run. Shiffrin, age 16, then posted the fastest time in the second run to secure third place.
Shiffrin won her first World Cup race in December 2012 at age 17, in a night slalom in Åre, Sweden. She became the second-youngest American to win an alpine World Cup event, behind Judy Nagel (17 yr, 5 mo.). Shiffrin's second win came two weeks later at a night slalom at Zagreb, Croatia; and her third win 11 days later at another night slalom in Flachau, Austria. After winning the slalom at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, she secured the 2013 season title in the slalom discipline. Though she spent most of her last two years of high school in Europe on the World Cup circuit, she graduated on time from Burke Mountain Academy in June.
Shiffrin opened the 2014 season in October 2013 in Sölden, Austria, with a career-best sixth in giant slalom, within a half-second of the podium. She won the next event, a slalom at Levi, Finland, improving on her podium finish the previous year for her fifth World Cup victory. At Beaver Creek, she was runner-up in the giant slalom, her first World Cup podium in that discipline. On January 5, Shiffrin secured first place in a two-run slalom race in Bormio, Italy (the race took place there instead of being, as scheduled, in Zagreb due to bad snow/weather conditions). She also won the world cup slalom races in Flachau, Åre and Lenzerheide, to secure a consecutive World Cup slalom title. Shiffrin ended the season as the reigning Olympic, World Cup, and world champion in slalom. That year, she was named one of ESPNW's Impact 25.
Shiffrin opened the 2015 season in October 2014 in Sölden with her first World Cup win in giant slalom. She had some trouble with slalom at first and ended up outside the podium in the first three World Cup slalom races, but emerged victorious in the races at Kühtai, Zagreb, Maribor, Åre and Méribel. She ended up winning the slalom world cup title once again. Shiffrin also won the World Championship in slalom held in Beaver Creek next to her home city of Vail, Colorado, USA.
In the first two slalom races of the 2016 season, both in Aspen, Shiffrin won by large margins, and in her first race, she achieved a new record margin for women's slalom, 3.07 seconds over the runner-up. On December 12, 2015, during the warm-up for the giant slalom in Åre, she fell and injured her knee. After two months away from racing, Shiffrin made a successful return in her first race back on February 15, 2016, where she took her 18th victory in Crans-Montana. In the 2016 season, she won all five slaloms she started. She missed the other five slaloms due to injuries, and chose not to compete in a parallel slalom in Stockholm.
Shiffrin opened the 2017 season with a second-place finish in giant slalom at Sölden in October 2016. This was followed by a victory in slalom at Levi on November 12. On November 26, 2016, she finished fifth in giant slalom at Killington in her first World Cup race in Vermont, but she returned the following day to a first-place finish in the slalom. On December 11, 2016, Shiffrin won her 11th straight World Cup win in the slalom in Sestriere, Italy. On December 27, Shiffrin won the giant slalom in Semmering, Austria, her second career giant slalom win and her first solo giant slalom win. The next day, she repeated and won her third career giant slalom and 25th World cup career victory.
At the World Championships in St. Moritz in February, she won the gold medal in slalom and took the silver in giant slalom. The gold was her third consecutive in slalom at the World Championships; she became the first woman to do this in the World Cup era, and the first since Germany's Christl Cranz in 1939, when the Worlds were held annually.
On February 26, Shiffrin won her first super combined race at Crans-Montana. It was her ninth World Cup victory of the season, and extended her lead in the overall standings. She has more World Cup victories before the age of 22 than Ingemar Stenmark, the record holder for number of World Cup victories. In Squaw Valley, the first World Cup races there since 1969, she won the giant slalom on March 10 and the slalom the following day, taking her to 31 World Cup victories and 11 for the season. This secured her her fourth slalom world cup. In Aspen, Colorado, the World Cup finals of the season took place. Shiffrin secured her first overall World Cup, but did not win the giant slalom World Cup that year. After the season, she received the "Skieur d’Or" (golden skier) award, given by the international ski journalist association to the best alpine skier of the year (one award for both genders).
Shiffrin started the 2018 season with a 5th place finish in giant slalom at Sölden. In early December she competed in downhill at Lake Louise, where she reached her first downhill podium (3rd place) and the next day she won her first downhill race in her fourth ever start.
Between December 19 and January 9, Shiffrin won 8 of the 9 races on the World Cup circuit (4 SL, 2 GS, and 2 PSL). She made history winning the very first FIS parallel slalom with the win in Courchevel, France. Then she won the slalom in Lienz, Austria to finish her 2017 year. She started 2018 with the win in the City Event in Oslo, Norway and became the first women ever with 2 wins in City Event. Two days later she won the slalom in Zagreb, Croatia. With wins in both the giant slalom and slalom at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Shiffrin clocked up her 39th and 40th World Cup wins at age 22. She then won the slalom in Flachau, Austria to equal Annemarie Moser-Pröll's record of 41 World Cup wins before 23rd birthday. She also became the first woman in history to win the first 5 World Cup races of a calendar year and the first one in 20 years (since Katja Seizinger) to win 5 straight World Cup races. After a third place in downhill, things stopped going her way. The rest of January had two 7th places and three races where she did not finish.
At the 2018 Winter Olympics, in Pyeongchang, South Korea – after several days of weather postponements, which caused the first three and final two races to be held on consecutive days, Shiffrin won gold in giant slalom as well as silver in super combined. In the giant slalom she finished second after the first run behind Italian Manuela Moelgg, but was able to secure the gold when Moelgg made mistakes on the second run. Due to weather delays, the slalom was contested the day after the giant slalom. Shiffrin entered the heavy favorite as the reigning Olympic champion, three-time consecutive world champion, reigning World Cup champion and the world cup leader in the event. She finished the first run in fourth, and was unable to improve her ranking after the second run, missing the podium after winning every single major slalom title that she entered in her career beforehand. Although she had originally intended to run at least 4 races, she pulled out of the super-G due to it being held the day after slalom, believing that she would not be able to perform well if she did 3 races in as many days. The weather delays also caused the downhill and the super combined to be held on consecutive days, choosing to run only one of the two. Believing she had her best chance at a medal in super combined, she pulled out of the downhill after running all three training runs, her best finish being 5th in the 3rd and final training run. In the super combined, the final individual alpine event on the Olympic schedule, she finished 6th after downhill. However, she was far behind the leader, 1.98 seconds behind compatriot Lindsey Vonn. However, due to having the 3rd fastest slalom run—and many of the leaders of the first run having mistakes in the second—she was able to move up to the silver medal position behind Michelle Gisin of Switzerland. Her gold and silver medals coming out of the Olympics made her the most decorated American Olympian, the most decorated female alpine skier, and the second most decorated alpine skier overall, only behind Marcel Hirscher of Austria who won two gold medals.
Shiffrin secured her second consecutive World Cup overall title on March 9, 2018 with 5 races left in the season. At the World Cup Finals in Åre, Sweden she won the slalom by 1.58 seconds over Wendy Holdener of Switzerland, her 12th win of the season. This tied her for second with her teammate Lindsey Vonn for most World Cup wins in a single season by a woman, behind Swiss skier Vreni Schneider holding the record of 14.
On December 2, 2018 she won a super-G race in Lake Louise, becoming the only alpine skier ever — male or female — to win all six currently contested alpine skiing disciplines. These include slalom, giant slalom, downhill, super-G, combined, and the most recently added, parallel slalom (also called a city event). Tina Maze and Lindsey Vonn never won a parallel slalom race since its introduction into World Cup competition. With her 1st super-G World Cup win at Lake Louise, Shiffrin become the seventh woman to win in the five more traditional disciplines (not including parallel slalom). She joined Lindsey Vonn, Tina Maze, Janica Kostelić, Anja Pärson, Pernilla Wiberg and Petra Kronberger.
On December 8, 2018 she won her second Super-G at St. Moritz, Switzerland for her first back-to-back speed wins. The next day, December 9, she won her 4th parallel slalom with a dramatic win over her main slalom rival, the Slovakian Petra Vlhová. This marked her 5th win out of 9 season races to start the 2018/2019 season. On December 22, 2018, she won the slalom in Courchevel, France and became the youngest skier ever – female or male – to win 50 World Cup ski races, at the age of 23 years and nine months. With that race she also equalled the record of the Austrian Marlies Schild for the most wins in women's slalom – 35,
One week later, she took another World Cup slalom win in Semmering, Austria, becoming the first alpine skier to take 15 World Cup wins in a single calendar year, moving ahead of Marcel Hirscher, who had taken 14 wins in 2018: both had broken the old record of 13 wins which had been set by Ingemar Stenmark in 1979. The race was also her 36th World Cup slalom win, breaking Schild's record: Shiffrin subsequently described Schild as "my biggest idol beside Bode Miller".
At the start of February 2019, shortly before the 2019 Alpine World Ski Championships, Shiffrin moved into third place on the list female skiers with the most World Cup race wins at a meeting in Maribor, tieing with Vlhová for the win in a giant slalom to put her equal with Vreni Schneider on 55 wins before winning a slalom the following day to overtake the Swiss skier.
At the World Championships, Shiffrin won the gold medal in the super-G before taking a bronze in the giant slalom in windy, changeable conditions, finishing behind Vlhová and Viktoria Rebensburg. She went on to secure a second gold in the slalom, becoming the first alpine skier to win four consecutive World Championships in the same discipline, despite suffering from a lung infection on the day of the race.
Following the Worlds, in March 2019 Shiffrin became the first alpine skier to take 15 World Cup wins in a season when she took victory in a slalom in Špindlerův Mlýn, breaking the record she had previously held jointly with Vreni Schneider. At the World Cup finals in Soldeu, Shiffrin started her campaign by clinching the super-G crystal globe, finishing fourth in the final race to take her tenth World Cup title and her first in a speed discipline, having already built an unassailable lead to secure the overall and slalom titles earlier in the season. She became the first skier to win World Cups in a technical and a speed event in the same season since Tina Maze six years earlier. She went on to win the slalom, her 16th win of the season and the 40th slalom win of her career, tying with Stenmark for the most World Cup slalom race wins. The following day she took her 17th win of the season and the 60th win of her career in the giant slalom to secure the GS crystal globe, becoming the first skier to win the overall, super-G, giant slalom and slalom World Cup titles in a single season. She also later won her 41st slalom race, making her the skier who has won the most World Cup slalom races.
Shiffrin had inconsistent performances in the technical races in the first half of the 2020 season, winning three slalom races to start, but placing runner up to Petra Vlhova later in the season. She also experienced similar fluctuations in ranking in Giant Slalom. However, she competed more frequently in speed races and following the Bansko World Cup in January 2020, had recorded 6 victories for the season, 3 slaloms and one each in giant slalom, Super G and Downhill; off pace with her performance in previous seasons, but still the most on the World Cup tour and with a considerable lead in the Overall Standings. However, on February 3, 2020, her father unexpectedly passed away, causing her to take an indefinite break from the World Cup tour. As a result, Petra Vlhova took over the top spot of the slalom rankings following a World Cup in Slovenia, the first time Shiffrin wasn’t leading slalom at that point in the season since 2016 and Federica Brignone reduced her lead in the overall from over 400 points to just over 100, and later took over the lead in the overall,
Media appearances and documentaries
Days after her first World Cup finals in 2013, Shiffrin was interviewed by David Letterman on the Late Show on March 19.
In 2014, Shiffrin was featured in a one-hour special on NBC television, How to Raise an Olympian, on February 5. Hosted by Meredith Vieira, it chronicled the journeys of seven US Olympians and featured interviews from parents and coaches along with home video and photos from each athlete's childhood. The event was broadcast on television with live social-media components to enhance each segment. After Shiffrin's first gold medal win, she played "Catch Phrase" with Reese Witherspoon and Usher on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. On July 12, 2014, Shiffrin was a guest on the NPR radio show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, where she won the show's Not My Job game at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
On October 27, 2016, Shiffrin, speaking in German, presented the award for the best Austrian sportsman to Marcel Hirscher at a sports gala in Austria. In 2017, Shiffrin discussed her skiing roots and aptitude for napping on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers. In 2018, Shiffrin was profiled on CBS News' 60 Minutes.
In the weeks after the February 2019 World Ski Championship, Amanda Ruggeri twice profiled Shiffin in Deadspin, and she was featured in The Wall Street Journal. In March 2019, after the conclusion of her record-setting World Cup season, she discussed handling anxiety on NBC's Today, addressed dealing with social media trolls on CNN, discussed pay equity on ABC's Good Morning America and the entertainment news show Access, and taught host Jimmy Fallon how to do the shuffle dance on NBC's Tonight Show. The New York Times profiled Shiffrin as "the face of American skiing,", a theme echoed in a Sports Illustrated profile and video where Shiffrin talked in detail about her history with Lindsey Vonn.
Shiffrin has been the subject of long-form documentary videos. She is often featured in Outside's "In Search of Speed," including in 2015, 2017 and 2018. After covering Shiffrin's training regimen in 2017, Red Bull in 2018 produced the 48-minutes long documentary "Peak Season: The Determination of Mikaela Shiffrin." In April 2019, NBC's Olympia channel devoted 25 hours of prime-time to feature 20 of Shiffrin's races in the 2018-2019 season; her fanclub also released a compilation of highlights from her 2018-2019 season.
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