Mikaela Shiffrin

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Mikaela Shiffrin
— Alpine skier —
Shiffrin Mikaela.jpg
Shiffrin in March 2014
Disciplines Slalom, giant slalom
Club Burke Mountain Academy
Born (1995-03-13) March 13, 1995 (age 19)
Vail, Colorado, U.S.
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
World Cup debut March 11, 2011 (age 15)
Teams 1 – (2014)
Medals 1 (1 gold)
World Championships
Teams 1 – (2013)
Medals 1 (1 gold)
World Cup
Seasons 3rd – (201214)
Wins 9 – (9 SL)
Podiums 16 – (13 SL, 2 GS, 1 PS)
Overall titles 0 – (5th in 2013)
Discipline titles 2 – (SL, 2013, 2014)

Mikaela Pauline Shiffrin (born March 13, 1995) is a World Cup alpine ski racer with the U.S. Ski Team, specializing in the technical events of slalom and giant slalom. She is the reigning Olympic, World Cup and world champion in slalom.[1] Shiffrin is the youngest slalom champion in Olympic alpine skiing history, at 18 years and 345 days.[2][3][4][5]

Background and early years[edit]

Born in Eagle-Vail, Colorado, Shiffrin is the second child of Eileen (née Condron) and Jeff Shiffrin, both originally from the Northeast and former ski racers.[6][7] When Mikaela was eight in 2003, the family moved to rural New Hampshire near Lyme,[8] where her anesthesiologist father worked at Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center. After five years, he took a new job in Denver;[9] older brother Taylor was in high school at Burke Mountain Academy in northeastern Vermont, and stayed. Mikaela also attended Burke for middle school, but went with her parents to Colorado, but soon returned to Burke.[10][11]

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 by 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).[12]

World Cup[edit]

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 U.S. National Championships at Winter Park, Colorado,[13] and became the youngest American ski racer to claim a national alpine crown.[14]

2012 season[edit]

On December 29, 2011, Shiffrin made her first World Cup podium at a slalom in Lienz, Austria. She started fortieth 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.[15][16][17]

2013 season[edit]

Shiffrin won her first World Cup race in December 2012 at age 17, in a night slalom in Åre, Sweden.[18] She became the second-youngest American to win an alpine World Cup event, behind Judy Nagel (17 yr, 5 mo.).[19] Shiffrin's second win came two weeks later at a night slalom at Zagreb, Croatia;[20] and her third win 11 days later at another night slalom in Flachau, Austria.[21] After winning the slalom at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, she secured the 2013 season title in the slalom discipline.[1] 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.[22][23]

2014 season[edit]

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.


Days after her first World Cup finals in 2013, slalom champion Shiffrin was interviewed by David Letterman on the Late Show on March 19.[24][25]

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 U.S. 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.

On July 12, 2014, Mikaela was a guest on the NPR radio show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!,[26] where she won the show's Not My Job game at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

World Cup results[edit]

Season titles[edit]

  • 2 titles - (2 SL)
Season Discipline
2013 Slalom
2014 Slalom

Season standings[edit]

Season Age Overall Slalom Giant
Super-G Downhill Combined
2012 16 43 17 49
2013 17 5 1 19
2014 18 6 1 7
  • standings thru 15 March 2014

Race podiums[edit]

  • 9 wins – (9 SL)
  • 16 podiums – (13 SL, 2 GS, 1 PS)
Season Date Location Discipline Place
2012 29 Dec 2011 Lienz, Austria Slalom 3rd
2013 10 Nov 2012 Levi, Finland Slalom 3rd
20 Dec 2012 Åre, Sweden Slalom 1st
4 Jan 2013 Zagreb, Croatia Slalom 1st
15 Jan 2013 Flachau, Austria Slalom 1st
29 Jan 2013 Moscow, Russia Parallel slalom 3rd
10 Mar 2013 Ofterschwang, Germany Slalom 3rd
16 Mar 2013 Lenzerheide, Switzerland   Slalom 1st
2014 16 Nov 2013 Levi, Finland Slalom 1st
1 Dec 2013 Beaver Creek, USA Giant slalom 2nd
28 Dec 2013 Lienz, Austria Giant slalom 3rd
29 Dec 2013 Slalom 2nd
5 Jan 2014 Bormio, Italy Slalom 1st
14 Jan 2014 Flachau, Austria Slalom 1st
8 Mar 2014 Åre, Sweden Slalom 1st
15 Mar 2014 Lenzerheide, Switzerland   Slalom 1st

World Championship results[edit]

Shiffrin competed in her first World Championships in 2013 at Schladming, Austria, and finished sixth in the giant slalom at Planai. Two days later in the slalom, she won the world title at age 17.[27]

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
Super-G Downhill Combined
2013 17 1 6

Olympic results[edit]

Favored to win the slalom at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Shiffrin led after the first run and nearly fell in the second, but held on for victory at Rosa Khutor. Three weeks shy of her 19th birthday, she became the youngest slalom champion in Olympic history.[2][3][4][5] Three days earlier, she finished fifth in the giant slalom, held in the rain.[28]

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
Super-G Downhill Combined
2014 18 1 5


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.[10] Her mother Eileen raced in high school in northwestern Massachusetts in the Berkshires,[7] and brother Taylor (b. 1992), races for the University of Denver.[29]


  1. ^ a b Mintz, Geoff (March 16, 2013). "Shiffrin comes from behind to claim season slalom title". Ski Racing.com. 
  2. ^ a b "Mikaela Shiffrin wins gold in slalom". ESPN. Associated Press. February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Dufresne, Chris (February 21, 2014). "Sochi Olympics: Mikaela Shiffrin overcomes near crash to win gold". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "U.S. teen Mikaela Shiffrin wins historic Olympic slalom gold". CBS News. CBS/Associated Press. February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Shiffrin becomes youngest ever Olympic slalom champion". International Ski Federation (FIS). February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ Megroz, Gordy (October 12, 2011). "Groomed for success". Outside. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Sullivan, Brian (February 16, 2014). "Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin has roots in Berkshires". Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, MA). Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  8. ^ Pennington, Bill (January 9, 2014). "Mikaela Shiffrin’s swift, if unplanned, ascent to World Champion". New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Jeff Shiffrin, MD". University of Colorado, School of Medicine. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Layden, Tim (February 2014). "Young, gifted, and oh so fast". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  11. ^ Svrluga, Barry (January 24, 2014). "Sochi 2014: Mikaela Shiffrin, 18, is poised to be next great American skier". Washington Post. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Shiffrin goes from sick bed to podium at Junior Worlds". Ski Racing. February 3, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Granstrom, Shiffrin take U.S. National slalom titles; Ford, Schleper win combined". Ski Racing.com. April 3, 2011. 
  14. ^ Alpine Young Guns: Mikaela Shiffrin, International Ski Federation, Oberhofen/Thunersee, Switzerland: International Ski Federation (FIS), 2011.
  15. ^ FIS Results – World Cup – women's slalom – 2011-12-29
  16. ^ Universal Sports – video – Mikaela Shiffrin – first World Cup podium – 2011-12-29
  17. ^ Williams, Eric (December 29, 2011). "Shiffrin third in Lienz slalom, Schild wins again, Schleper retires". Ski Racing. 
  18. ^ Mintz, Geoff (December 20, 2012). "Shiffrin wins first career World Cup". Ski Racing. 
  19. ^ "Teen Mikaela Shiffrin wins". U.S. Ski Team. December 20, 2012. 
  20. ^ Mintz, Geoff (January 4, 2013). "Shiffrin picks up second career win at Zagreb, Croatia". Ski Racing. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  21. ^ Mintz, Geoff (January 15, 2013). "Shiffrin picks up third win in Flachau, as first-run leader Hoefl-Riesch clips gate". Ski Racing. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  22. ^ Springer, Shira (February 6, 2014). "Mikaela Shiffrin poised to be next US Olympic star". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  23. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (February 6, 2014). "Mikaela Shiffrin poised to be USA's headliner in Sochi". USA Today. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  24. ^ Keppler, Justin (March 20, 2013). "World Cup slalom champ Mikaela Shiffrin visits the Late Show with David Letterman". The Ski Channel. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Mikaela Shiffrin on Late Show with David Letterman". You Tube. (video). March 19, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Boulder Weekly, 07-03-2014". 
  27. ^ Mintz, Geoff (February 16, 2013). "17-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin, your 2013 slalom World Champion". Ski Racing. 
  28. ^ Mintz, Geoff (February 18, 2014). "Maze shines in rainy Russia". Ski Racing. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Taylor Shiffrin". University of Denver Athletics. Skiing. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 

External links[edit]