March 14, 2023
Melinda Head

Mikaela Shiffrin: World Dominator

And not done yet


Whether or not you follow World Cup alpine skiing, memorize this name: Mikaela Shiffrin. This newly crowned American super athlete is just as important, if not more important, than sports icons Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Serena Williams.

Ms. Shiffrin has just smashed all records, male and female, to become the most accomplished alpine skier on the planet. And, coincidently, she realized this incredible feat in Åre, Sweden – the same place where she won her first World Cup.

An emotional moment for Mikaela Shiffrin after earning her 87th World Cup

Prior to  Saturday, Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark held the record of 86 World Cup wins, established 34 years ago.

“She deserves the record more than anyone else. She’s a complete skier. She has a good technique, but it’s not only that. She has physical strength, she has a strong head – those things combined make her so good. And she’s smart, too. She doesn’t have to race at 100% speed. She knows that the others have to go beyond their ability (to beat her) and that they will make some mistakes.” (Ingemar Stenmark)

Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark, who now only skis with his daughter during Spring break, held the record as the most accomplished skier in the world for 34 years. At age 66, he predicts that 28 year old American Shiffrin can easily win more than 100 World Cup races before she hangs up her skis

Shiffrin was born in Vail, Colorado, and comes from a family of avid skiers. She’s been on skis all her life.

Mikaela Shiffrin followed in the footsteps of her parents, both avid skiers, who always favored training over competing … viewing skiing as “dancing with the hill”, as her father, Jeff, said

A highly versatile athlete, Shiffrin’s 87 World Cup victories are spread across slalom, giant slalom, downhill, super-G, combined, parallel and city events (parallel slalom).

Shiffrin still has a lot to do and important things to say along the way. She was strongly impacted by the accidental death of her father at age 65 due to a head injury suffered at home, and wrote a very touching article about how it affected her after disappointing Beijing 2022 results.

In December she started a YouTube channel as a vehicle to tell her own story, with a focus on values both on and off the mountain. Here’s the first 4 episodes of “Moving Right Along”:

And most recently she announced the appointment of elite coach, Karin Harjo, a deliberately female choice and a rarity in the upper echelons of the sport.

“I believe she can add a huge benefit to my program in the coming years and will provide a fresh and new way of thinking as we move forward.” (Mikaela Shiffrin)

“In the end, I want to be an inspiration to somebody.” (Mikaela Shiffrin)

Mikaela Shiffrin sporting a No. 87 bucket hat

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About the Author

A serial entrepreneur, Melinda is a sociologist and statistician who believes there is no currency with greater value than knowledge

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