Mikaela Shiffrin

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Mikaela Shiffrin
Alpine skier
Sportler des Jahres Österreich 2016 red carpet Mikaela Shiffrin 5.jpg
Mikaela Shiffrin in October 2016
DisciplinesSlalom, Giant slalom, Super-G, Downhill, Combined
ClubBurke Mountain Academy
Born (1995-03-13) March 13, 1995 (age 23)
Vail, Colorado, United States
Height5 ft 7 in (170 cm)[1]
World Cup debutMarch 11, 2011 (age 15)
Websitefacebook.com
Olympics
Teams2 – (2014, 2018)
Medals3 (2 gold)
World Championships
Teams4 – (201319)
Medals6 (4 gold)
World Cup
Seasons9 – (20112019)
Wins56 – (38 SL, 9 GS, 1 AC, 4 PSL, 1 DH, 3 SG)
Podiums78 – (47 SL, 18 GS, 1 AC, 6 PSL, 3 DH, 3 SG)
Overall titles2 – (2017, 2018)
Discipline titles5 – (SL, 201315, 201718)

Mikaela Pauline Shiffrin (born March 13, 1995) is an American two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup alpine skier. She is the current two-time reigning Overall World Cup champion, the three-time reigning world champion in slalom,[2] and a five-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 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 56 World Cup races, the 3rd most all time by a female alpine skier, including 38 WC slalom races, the most all-time by a female alpine skier. She is the only female athlete to have won 15 races in the same calendar year, winning the last slalom of the 2018 season in Semmering and equalling the men's record holder Marcel Hirscher.

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]

Shiffrin has been in a relationship with French alpine skier Mathieu Faivre since the summer of 2017.[16]

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,[17] and became the youngest American ski racer to claim a national alpine crown.[18]

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.[19][20][21]

2013 season[edit]

Shiffrin won her first World Cup race in December 2012 at age 17, in a night slalom in Åre, Sweden.[22] She became the second-youngest American to win an alpine World Cup event, behind Judy Nagel (17 yr, 5 mo.).[23] Shiffrin's second win came two weeks later at a night slalom at Zagreb, Croatia;[24] and her third win 11 days later at another night slalom in Flachau, Austria.[25] 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.[26][27]

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.[28]

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.[29][30][31][32] 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.[33]

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.[34] 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.[35] 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.[36]

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 fourth ever start.

Giant Slalom, Pyeongchang 2018: Ragnhild Mowinckel (silver), Shiffrin (gold) and Federica Brignone (bronze)

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.

2019 season[edit]

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,[37] and put herself in joint seventh place in all-time World Cup victories with Alberto Tomba of Italy.

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".[38]

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.[39]

World Cup results[edit]

Season titles[edit]

Mikaela Shiffrin in Åre 2018
  • 7 titles – (2 overall, 5 slalom)
Season
Discipline
2013 Slalom
2014 Slalom
2015 Slalom
2017 Overall
Slalom
2018 Overall
Slalom

Season standings[edit]

Season
Age Overall Slalom Giant
Slalom
Super G Downhill Combined
2012 16 43 17 49
2013 17 5 1st, gold medalist(s) 19
2014 18 6 1st, gold medalist(s) 7
2015 19 4 1st, gold medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
2016 20 10 4 21 39 23
2017 21 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s) 24 36 6
2018 22 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 28 5
2019 23 1 1 1 1 15
Standings through January 20, 2019

Race victories[edit]

Slalom Giant Slalom Downhill Super G Combined Parallel Total
Wins 38 9 1 3 1 4 56
Podiums 47 18 3 3 1 6 78
Season
Date Location Discipline
2013
4 victories
(4 SL)
December 20, 2012 Sweden Åre, Sweden Slalom
January 4, 2013 Croatia Zagreb, Croatia Slalom
January 15, 2013 Austria Flachau, Austria Slalom
March 16, 2013  Switzerland  Lenzerheide, Switzerland Slalom
2014
5 victories
(5 SL)
November 16, 2013 Finland Levi, Finland Slalom
January 5, 2014 Italy Bormio, Italy Slalom
January 14, 2014 Austria Flachau, Austria Slalom
March 8, 2014 Sweden Åre, Sweden Slalom
March 15, 2014  Switzerland  Lenzerheide, Switzerland Slalom
2015
6 victories
(5 SL, 1 GS)
October 25, 2014 Austria Sölden, Austria   Giant slalom
December 29, 2014 Austria Kühtai, Austria Slalom
January 4, 2015 Croatia Zagreb, Croatia Slalom
February 22, 2015 Slovenia Maribor, Slovenia Slalom
March 14, 2015 Sweden Åre, Sweden Slalom
March 21, 2015 France Méribel, France Slalom
2016
5 victories
(5 SL)
November 28, 2015 United States Aspen, USA Slalom
November 29, 2015 Slalom
February 15, 2016  Switzerland  Crans-Montana, Switzerland Slalom
March 6, 2016 Slovakia Jasná, Slovakia Slalom
March 19, 2016  Switzerland  St. Moritz, Switzerland Slalom
2017
11 victories
(6 SL, 3 GS, 1 AC, 1 PS)
November 12, 2016 Finland Levi, Finland Slalom
November 27, 2016 United States Killington, USA Slalom
December 11, 2016 Italy Sestriere, Italy Slalom
December 27, 2016 Austria Semmering, Austria Giant slalom
December 28, 2016 Giant slalom
December 29, 2016 Slalom
January 8, 2017 Slovenia Maribor, Slovenia Slalom
January 31, 2017 Sweden Stockholm, Sweden Parallel slalom
February 26, 2017  Switzerland  Crans-Montana, Switzerland Combined
March 10, 2017 United States Squaw Valley, USA Giant slalom
March 11, 2017 Slalom
2018
12 victories
(7 SL, 1 DH,
2 GS, 2 PS)
November 26, 2017 United States Killington, USA Slalom
December 2, 2017 Canada Lake Louise, Canada Downhill
December 19, 2017 France Courchevel, France Giant slalom
December 20, 2017 Parallel slalom
December 28, 2017 Austria Lienz, Austria Slalom
January 1, 2018 Norway Oslo, Norway Parallel slalom
January 3, 2018 Croatia Zagreb, Croatia Slalom
January 6, 2018 Slovenia Kranjska Gora, Slovenia Giant slalom
January 7, 2018 Slalom
January 9, 2018 Austria Flachau, Austria Slalom
March 10, 2018 Germany Ofterschwang, Germany Slalom
March 17, 2018 Sweden Åre, Sweden Slalom
2019
13 victories
(6 SL, 3 GS, 3 SG, 1 PS)
November 17, 2018 Finland Levi, Finland Slalom
November 25, 2018 United States Killington, USA Slalom
December 2, 2018 Canada Lake Louise, Canada Super-G
December 8, 2018  Switzerland  St. Moritz, Switzerland Super-G
December 9, 2018 Parallel slalom
December 21, 2018 France Courchevel, France Giant slalom
December 22, 2018 Slalom
December 29, 2018 Austria Semmering, Austria Slalom
January 5, 2019 Croatia Zagreb, Croatia Slalom
January 15, 2019 Italy Kronplatz, Italy Giant slalom
January 20, 2019 Italy Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Super-G
February 1, 2019 Slovenia Maribor, Slovenia Giant slalom
February 2, 2019 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.[40]

Year
Age Slalom Giant
Slalom
Super G Downhill Combined
2013 17 1 6
2015 19 1 8
2017 21 1 2
2019 23 3 1

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.[41]

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

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

Appearances[edit]

Days after her first World Cup finals in 2013, Shiffrin was interviewed by David Letterman on the Late Show on March 19.[42][43]

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!,[44] 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.[45][46]

References[edit]

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  44. ^ "Boulder Weekly, 07-03-2014".
  45. ^ Sportreport (October 27, 2016). "Mikaela Shiffrin im Interview vor der Gala Nacht des Sports 2016". Retrieved February 10, 2018 – via YouTube.
  46. ^ ""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. October 27, 2016. Retrieved February 15, 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Mikaela Shiffrin at Wikimedia Commons