Skip to content

U.S. skier Shiffrin, 17, makes history in World Cup race

Dec 21, 2012, 12:32 PM EDT

Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Ever heard of Mikaela Shiffrin?

If you don’t closely follow Alpine ski racing, your answer is probably a no. But now is the time to start reading up on this 17-year-old Alpine skiing phenom.

At 17 years, 9 months and 7 days, Shiffrin became the third youngest American to ever win an Alpine World Cup race on Thursday after claiming victory in a slalom race in Are, Sweden.

Shiffrin is from Vail, Colo., and attends Burke Mountain Academy, a private school in East Burke, Vt. that teaches both academics and ski racing. Shiffrin made her World Cup debut in March 2011. Later that year she raced in another World Cup event and finished eighth in the slalom. A year ago, Shiffrin placed third in a slalom race at Lienz, Austria. Last March, she won the slalom at the U.S. National Championships – after doing the same at the 2011 Nationals.

So yeah, it’s probably time to start paying attention to this talented teenager.

When asked about her victory, Shiffrin had this to say (courtesy of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association): “I was just trying to fly. I couldn’t imagine what winning [a World Cup race] would feel like. I only knew the feeling of knowing you’ve skied your best.”

Let’s think about this for a minute. Lindsey Vonn has the speed events covered for the U.S. women, the downhill and the super-G. You can throw Julia Mancuso into that mix as well. Mancuso and Shiffrin are solid in the giant slalom. In the slalom there’s really only one American we need to know about: Shiffrin. Her victory yesterday catapulted her to the top of the World Cup slalom standings.

So will we see Shiffrin on more podiums in the near future? And what about the Sochi Olympics, which are just over a year away?

“I met Mikaela last summer and she is indeed a great kid with a wonderful ski future in front of her,” said Kiki Cutter, the youngest American to win a World Cup race (slalom in 1968 at 16 years, 7 months, 1 day). “I am sure that we are going to see many more victories from Mikaela.”

Cutler was also the first American in history to win a World Cup race, so you can’t get much more of an expert opinion than hers. And if she’s right, Mikaela, we’ll see you on the slopes in Sochi.

Latest Posts
  1. Jessica Ennis-Hill will compete at World Championships

    Jul 28, 2015, 11:17 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The British Olympic heptathlon champion will compete at a global championship for the first time since the London Games.

  2. IOC president confident U.S. will still bid for 2024 Olympics

    Jul 28, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT

    AP AP

    One city’s mayor is open to discussions.

  3. South Sudan set for Olympic recognition

    Jul 28, 2015, 9:14 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    A South Sudanese marathon runner competed under a different flag at London 2012.

  4. Haley Anderson makes second Olympic team

    Jul 28, 2015, 7:09 AM EDT

    AP AP

    Her 17-year-old teammate missed out, though, at the World Championships.

  5. Phil Dalhausser, Sean Rosenthal split

    Jul 27, 2015, 11:59 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    An injury to Dalhausser spelled doom to their partnership.

  6. Boston ends bid for 2024 Olympics; USOC wants another city

    Jul 27, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Boston 2024

    The 2024 bid race is down to four cities.

  7. Kerri Walsh Jennings to return at World Series of Beach Volleyball in August

    Jul 27, 2015, 5:18 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The three-time Olympic champion hasn’t played since dislocating a shoulder July 10.

  8. Olympic equestrian champ’s ban lifted in horse doping case

    Jul 27, 2015, 4:36 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Steve Guerdat’s provisional ban was announced last Tuesday.

  9. Boston mayor: Olympic bid won’t go forward if forced to sign contract today

    Jul 27, 2015, 11:02 AM EDT

    Boston 2024

    Public support in Boston and Massachusetts has been less than 50 percent for months.

  10. Nike makes Ashton Eaton a ‘cooling hood’

    Jul 27, 2015, 10:52 AM EDT

    Nike Cooling Mask Nike

    “Why does it feel good, after running, to pour a bottle of water over your head?”

  11. Can Tour de France stars contend for medals at 2016 Olympics?

    Jul 27, 2015, 8:48 AM EDT

    AP AP

    The Rio Games open less than two weeks after the 2016 Tour de France ends.

  12. U.S. women dominate en route to FIVB World Grand Prix title

    Jul 27, 2015, 8:18 AM EDT

    AP AP

    The U.S. can achieve an Olympic first in Rio de Janeiro next year.

  13. Bill May becomes first man to win World Synchronized Swimming Championship

    Jul 27, 2015, 7:36 AM EDT

    AP AP

    May is a 36-year-old Cirque du Soleil performer who came out of a 10-year retirement.

  14. Neymar: I told Barcelona I want to play in Rio Olympics

    Jul 26, 2015, 3:21 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Brazil’s coach has said Neymar’s Olympic participation is dependent on talks with Barcelona.

  15. Michael Phelps: I’ve looked at my 22 medals together once or twice

    Jul 26, 2015, 2:34 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    More highlights from Phelps’ Q&A at the Doha Goals Forum.

  16. Simone Biles routs Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman at Secret Classic

    Jul 25, 2015, 11:59 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Next up are the P&G Championships in three weeks.

  17. Jennifer Wu makes 2016 U.S. Olympic team in table tennis

    Jul 25, 2015, 7:06 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Wu is the second athlete to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team across all sports.

  18. Simone Biles as powerful as male gymnasts, Jonathan Horton says

    Jul 25, 2015, 7:43 AM EDT

    AP AP

    “She is as dominant as any athlete in any sport,” USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny said.