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Is teen skier Mikaela Shiffrin the winter Missy Franklin?

Mar 20, 2013, 10:45 AM EDT

Mikaela Shiffrin AP

American teen Mikaela Shiffrin, who last week became the youngest women’s World Cup slalom champ in 39 years, appeared on TODAY Wednesday morning to chat about the world championships, her impressions of Sochi, and what it’s like to be compared to one of the best young Olympians of her generation.

“It’s really an honor to be compared to [Missy Franklin],” Shiffrin said. “She’s so inspiring… It’s really cool to be compared to that. Not as much trying to live up to that as just carrying the torch.”

Shiffrin also admitted to freaking out a bit when Missy tweeted her congratulations after a victory earlier this year.

Mikaela’s incredible sophomore season included four World Cup wins, eight podium finishes, and her first career world championship in the slalom. She’ll hope to follow all that up with a gold medal next February in Sochi as she aims to be one of the rising stars of the U.S. Olympic team.

Check out her full interview here:

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