Mikaela Shiffrin

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Mikaela Shiffrin
— Alpine skier —
Sportler des Jahres Österreich 2016 red carpet Mikaela Shiffrin 5.jpg
Shiffrin in October 2016
Disciplines Slalom, Giant slalom,
Super G, Combined, Downhill
Club Burke Mountain Academy
Born (1995-03-13) March 13, 1995 (age 22)
Vail, Colorado, United States
Height 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)[1]
World Cup debut March 11, 2011 (age 15)
Website facebook.com
Teams 2 – (2014, 2018)
Medals 3 (2 gold)
World Championships
Teams 3 – (201317)
Medals 4 (3 gold)
World Cup
Seasons 8 – (20112018)
Wins 41 – (30 SL, 6 GS, 1 AC, 3 PSL, 1 DH)
Podiums 59 – (38 SL, 13 GS, 1 AC, 4 PSL, 3 DH)
Overall titles 1 – (2017)
Discipline titles 4 – (SL, 201315, 2017)

Mikaela Pauline Shiffrin (born March 13, 1995) is an American Olympic gold medalist and World Cup alpine ski racer with the United States Ski Team. She is the reigning Overall World Cup champion, the reigning world champion in slalom,[2] and a four-time winner of the World Cup discipline title in that event.[3] Shiffrin is the youngest slalom champion in Olympic alpine skiing history, at 18 years and 345 days.[4][5][6][7] By winning her second Olympic gold medal in 2018, in the giant slalom, she tied Ted Ligety and Andrea Mead Lawrence for the most Olympic gold medals ever won by an American Olympian in alpine skiing.

Background and early years[edit]

Born in Vail, Colorado,[1] Shiffrin is the second child of Eileen (née Condron) and Jeff Shiffrin, both originally from the Northeastern United States and former ski racers.[8][9] 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,[9] and brother Taylor (born 1992), raced for the University of Denver.[11]

When Mikaela was eight in 2003, the family moved to rural New Hampshire near Lyme,[12] where her father, an anesthesiologist, worked at Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center. After five years, he took a new job in Denver;[13] her older brother Taylor was in high school at Burke Mountain Academy in northeastern Vermont, and stayed. Shiffrin also attended middle school at Burke, but went with her parents to Colorado, before returning to Burke.[10][14]

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).[15]

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 US National Championships at Winter Park, Colorado,[16] and became the youngest American ski racer to claim a national alpine crown.[17]

2012 season[edit]

Shiffrin in 2012

On December 29, 2011, Shiffrin took her first World Cup podium 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.[18][19][20]

2013 season[edit]

Shiffrin won her first World Cup race in December 2012 at age 17, in a night slalom in Åre, Sweden.[21] She became the second-youngest American to win an alpine World Cup event, behind Judy Nagel (17 yr, 5 mo.).[22] Shiffrin's second win came two weeks later at a night slalom at Zagreb, Croatia;[23] and her third win 11 days later at another night slalom in Flachau, Austria.[24] After winning the slalom at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, she secured the 2013 season title in the slalom discipline.[2] 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.[25][26]

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. That year, she was named one of ESPNW's Impact 25.[27]

2015 season[edit]

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.[28][29][30][31] She ended up winning the slalom world cup title once again.[3] Shiffrin also won the World Championship in slalom held in Beaver Creek next to her home city of Vail, Colorado, USA.

2016 season[edit]

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.[32]

2017 season[edit]

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.[33] Shiffrin subsequently won the final race held at Semmering, a slalom, on December 29, 2016, achieving her 26th World cup victory and completing her sweep of races at the resort. This made her the first woman to take three wins in three consecutive days in technical disciplines since Vreni Schneider won two giant slaloms in Schwarzenberg and a slalom in Mellau in January 1989.[34] However she missed out on equalling the record of eight consecutive slalom wins, jointly held by Schneider and Janica Kostelić, when she failed to finish first run of the Snow Queen Trophy race in Zagreb on January 3 - her first DNF in slalom since a race in Semmering in 2012. On January 29 in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, Shiffrin posted her best result in a speed event, finishing fourth in the super-G, only 0.03 seconds off the podium. She won her first parallel slalom on January 31 in Stockholm, Sweden.

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.[35]

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).

2018 season[edit]

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 4th ever start. Between December 19 and January 9, she won 8 of the 9 races on the WC 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 impressive 2017 year. She started the new 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 WC 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 WC 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. She currently leads the World Cup overall standings as well as the slalom discipline. In the 2018 Winter Olympics, in Pyeongchang, South Korea - after several days of weather postponements - she won gold in giant slalom.

World Cup results[edit]

Season titles[edit]

  • 5 titles - (1 overall, 4 slalom)
2013 Slalom
2014 Slalom
2015 Slalom
2017 Overall

Season standings[edit]

Age Overall Slalom Giant
Super G Downhill Combined
2012 16 43 17 49
2013 17 5 1 19
2014 18 6 1 7
2015 19 4 1 3
2016 20 10 4 21 39 23
2017 21 1 1 2 24 36 6
2018 22 1 1 3 25 5
  • Standings through 4 February 2018

Race victories[edit]

Date Location Discipline
4 victories
(4 SL)
20 Dec 2012 Sweden Åre, Sweden Slalom
4 Jan 2013 Croatia Zagreb, Croatia Slalom
15 Jan 2013 Austria Flachau, Austria Slalom
16 Mar 2013  Switzerland  Lenzerheide, Switzerland Slalom
5 victories
(5 SL)
16 Nov 2013 Finland Levi, Finland Slalom
5 Jan 2014 Italy Bormio, Italy Slalom
14 Jan 2014 Austria Flachau, Austria Slalom
8 Mar 2014 Sweden Åre, Sweden Slalom
15 Mar 2014  Switzerland  Lenzerheide, Switzerland Slalom
6 victories
(5 SL, 1 GS)
25 Oct 2014 Austria Sölden, Austria   Giant slalom
29 Dec 2014 Austria Kühtai, Austria Slalom
4 Jan 2015 Croatia Zagreb, Croatia Slalom
22 Feb 2015 Slovenia Maribor, Slovenia Slalom
14 Mar 2015 Sweden Åre, Sweden Slalom
21 Mar 2015 France Méribel, France Slalom
5 victories
(5 SL)
28 Nov 2015 United States Aspen, USA Slalom
29 Nov 2015 Slalom
15 Feb 2016  Switzerland  Crans-Montana, Switzerland Slalom
6 Mar 2016 Slovakia Jasná, Slovakia Slalom
19 Mar 2016  Switzerland  St. Moritz, Switzerland Slalom
11 victories
(6 SL, 3 GS, 1 AC, 1 PS)
12 Nov 2016 Finland Levi, Finland Slalom
27 Nov 2016 United States Killington, USA Slalom
11 Dec 2016 Italy Sestriere, Italy Slalom
27 Dec 2016 Austria Semmering, Austria Giant slalom
28 Dec 2016 Giant slalom
29 Dec 2016 Slalom
8 Jan 2017 Slovenia Maribor, Slovenia Slalom
31 Jan 2017 Sweden Stockholm, Sweden Parallel slalom
26 Feb 2017  Switzerland  Crans-Montana, Switzerland Combined
10 Mar 2017 United States Squaw Valley, USA Giant slalom
11 Mar 2017 Slalom
(Season in progress)
10 victories
(5 SL, 1 DH,
2 GS, 2 PS)
26 Nov 2017 United States Killington, USA Slalom
2 Dec 2017 Canada Lake Louise, Canada Downhill
19 Dec 2017 France Courchevel, France Giant slalom
20 Dec 2017 Parallel slalom
28 Dec 2017 Austria Lienz, Austria Slalom
1 Jan 2018 Norway Oslo, Norway Parallel slalom
3 Jan 2018 Croatia Zagreb, Croatia Slalom
6 Jan 2018 Slovenia Kranjska Gora, Slovenia Giant slalom
7 Jan 2018 Slalom
9 Jan 2018 Austria Flachau, Austria Slalom

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.[36]

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
Super-G Downhill Combined
2013 17 1 6
2015 19 1 8
2017 21 1 2

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.[4][5][6][7] Three days earlier, she finished fifth in the giant slalom, held in the rain.[37]

She competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018. She won the gold medal in the giant slalom. She placed 4th in the slalom despite being favored to win the gold medal in the event.

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
Super-G Downhill Combined
2014 18 1 5
2018 22 4 1 2


Days after her first World Cup finals in 2013, Shiffrin was interviewed by David Letterman on the Late Show on March 19.[38][39]

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.

On July 12, 2014, Shiffrin was a guest on the NPR radio show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!,[40] 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 (Marcel Hirscher) at a sports gala in Austria.[41][42]


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  10. ^ a b Layden, Tim (February 2014). "Young, gifted, and oh so fast". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 16, 2014. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Taylor Shiffrin". University of Denver Athletics. Skiing. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
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  17. ^ Alpine Young Guns: Mikaela Shiffrin, International Ski Federation, Oberhofen/Thunersee, Switzerland: International Ski Federation (FIS), 2011.
  18. ^ FIS Results – World Cup – women's slalom – 2011-12-29
  19. ^ Universal Sports – video – Mikaela Shiffrin – first World Cup podium – 2011-12-29
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  22. ^ "Teen Mikaela Shiffrin wins". U.S. Ski Team. December 20, 2012. 
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  24. ^ 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. 
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  26. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (February 6, 2014). "Mikaela Shiffrin poised to be USA's headliner in Sochi". USA Today. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  27. ^ "2014 espnW Impact 25". Retrieved September 2, 2016. 
  28. ^ Zaccardi, Nick (December 29, 2014). "Mikaela Shiffrin wins 10th career World Cup slalom, breaks record". nbcsports.com. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  29. ^ Zaccardi, Nick (January 4, 2015). "Snow Queen Mikaela Shiffrin dominates Zagreb slalom". nbcsports.com. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  30. ^ Zaccardi, Nick (February 22, 2015). "Mikaela Shiffrin wins Maribor slalom, snags World Cup lead in teenage finale". nbcsports.com. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  31. ^ Zaccardi, Nick (March 14, 2015). "Mikaela Shiffrin shares podium with girl with leukemia". nbcsports.com. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  32. ^ "SHIFFRIN Mikaela - Biographie". data.fis-ski.com. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  33. ^ "Alpine Skiing - Athlete: Mikaela SHIFFRIN". FIS-SKI. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  34. ^ "Mikaela Shiffrin s trojčkom zmag ob bok Vreni Schneider" [Mikaela Shiffrin with trio of victories alongside Vreni Schneider]. RTVSLO (in Slovenian). 29 December 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  35. ^ "Mikaela Shiffrin's slalom win streak snapped". CBC.ca. 3 January 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  36. ^ Mintz, Geoff (February 16, 2013). "17-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin, your 2013 slalom World Champion". Ski Racing. 
  37. ^ Mintz, Geoff (February 18, 2014). "Maze shines in rainy Russia". Ski Racing. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  38. ^ 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. 
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  40. ^ "Boulder Weekly, 07-03-2014". 
  41. ^ Sportreport (October 27, 2016). "Mikaela Shiffrin im Interview vor der Gala Nacht des Sports 2016". Retrieved February 10, 2018 – via YouTube. 
  42. ^ ""Mikaela spricht so gut Deutsch wie ich Englisch": Mikaela Shiffrin machte auch abseits der Skipiste bei der Galanacht des Sports eine gute Figur. Die US-Amerikanerin überreichte Marcel Hirscher die Trophäe für Österreichs Sportler des Jahres 2016. Und das mit einer Laudatio auf Deutsch" ["Mikaela speaks German as well as I speak English": Mikaela Shiffrin also looked good off the slopes at the sport gala night. The American handed Marcel Hirscher the trophy for Austria's Athlete of the Year 2016. And with a tribute in German.]. Heute. Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen. 27 October 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2018. 

External links[edit]