Dec 21, 2012, 12:32 PM EDT
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.
Apr 21, 2015, 3:51 PM EDT
Michelle Kwan, Meryl Davis, Evan Lysacek and more Olympians tell their memorable stories.
Apr 21, 2015, 11:11 AM EDT
Vonn also discussed her prize cows and Tiger Woods.
Apr 21, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
The inspirational Maickel Melamed needed 20 hours to finish.
Apr 21, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT
Andrea Karl didn’t break the tape on marathon day because another runner jumped on the course late in the race.
Apr 21, 2015, 9:03 AM EDT
Leveaux said in a book that team members used cocaine.
Apr 20, 2015, 3:14 PM EDT
“To become one of greatest gymnasts of all time, you have to have a little bit more.”
Apr 20, 2015, 3:10 PM EDT
The top U.S. finisher was an Olympian in fourth.
Apr 20, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT
Bolt picked two sprinters across history he would like to race against.
Apr 20, 2015, 9:27 AM EDT
Leveaux details his claim in an upcoming autobiography.
Apr 20, 2015, 9:17 AM EDT
Not even Michael Phelps has attempted this.
Apr 18, 2015, 10:03 PM EDT
Katie Ledecky also flirted with a world record.
Apr 18, 2015, 10:17 AM EDT
The U.S. appears to have a better shot in the women’s race.
Apr 18, 2015, 9:09 AM EDT
Phelps has raced against a record-breaking woman before.
Apr 17, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT
“I’m like, Michael, 2016, Rio, 50 free, 100 free, just a relay.”
Apr 17, 2015, 3:06 PM EDT
The finals are at 9 p.m. ET on Universal Sports.
Apr 17, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT
Plushenko wants to compete in a fifth Olympics in 2018.
Apr 17, 2015, 10:29 AM EDT
It took organizers about 20 minutes to figure out what happened Sunday.
Apr 17, 2015, 9:09 AM EDT
“It doesn’t seem like she has served a ban.”
Apr 17, 2015, 8:42 AM EDT
Phelps outdueled Ryan Lochte, but he was slower than last year.
Apr 16, 2015, 3:16 PM EDT
If Phelps is added by FINA, the U.S. might be able to try for podium sweeps at the World Championships.
- Figure skaters recall odd gifts from fans 0
- Lindsey Vonn talks ‘first-world problems’ on ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’ 0
- Vitaly Scherbo weighs in on Kohei Uchimura 0
- Meb Keflezighi eighth after stopping, throwing up, crying at Boston Marathon 2
- Usain Bolt runs his slowest 100m final ever; Brazil TV simulates Bolt’s dream 100m race 2
- Katie Ledecky eyes daunting double at World Championships 0
- Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte split duels in Mesa 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)