Get ready, Pyeongchang: here comes Mikaela Shiffrin. The slalom skier looks to pick up a few more gold medals at the Winter Olympics, so get to know all about her.
1. She’s been winning since she was a teenager. At just 22 years of age, Mikaela Shiffrin is expected to be one of the biggest stories coming out of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. While many expected her to take home one or more gold medals, but she’s already recorded her name in the history books. She joined the World Cup tour, the top international tier of ski racing, when she was fifteen, according to the New Yorker. A few weeks later, a sixteen-year-old Mikaela became the youngest woman to win a U.S. national championship. A year after that, she started racking up World Cup slalom races. At eighteen, there was gold around her neck, as Mikaela had won the Slalom event at the 2014 winter games in Sochi. Is it any wonder that the New Yorker calls her “the best slalom skier in the world?”
2. She’s done something only two other American women have accomplished. When Miekala heads into South Korea for the 2018 Olympics, she will do so as the reigning World Cup champion. Not only is she the youngest overall FIS Alpine Overall World Cup champion, but she’s also just the third American woman to clinch that honor, according to Deadspin.
3. Yet, it’s not all about winning for her. While it would be easy for Mikaela to create a checklist of races to win and world records to break, she’s mainly focused at improving as an athlete. “Even when she wins a run, even by by a margin as big as a second or more, she’ll sometimes look almost disappointed,” Amanda Ruggeri writes at Deadspin, saying that Mikaela’s only really satisfied when she fulfills her potential.
“I finally skied that the way I wanted to. I finally did it this year. I’m so happy,” she said at the 2017 World Championships, where she finished gold in the slalom. When a reporter pointed out that Mikaela always races like a queen, she said it was different. “It’s only something that I can understand. But when I ski that way, I just, I can’t describe it. It’s amazing.”
After years of training, we are 24 days away from #PyeongChang2018… And it’s going to be unforgettable with my sponsor @Visa ! So excited and proud to be a part of it! #TeamVisa #EverywhereIWantToBe #ad pic.twitter.com/3e2sQqg0O9
— Mikaela Shiffrin (@MikaelaShiffrin) January 18, 2018
Hi! 🙋♀️🙋♀️ I’m taking over the @Bose Instagram stories tomorrow from Cortina, Italy… Follow along if you want a behind the scenes look at what a day in my life is like!! Try to keep up😝😈 #TeamBose #ad pic.twitter.com/V0mLxY73fi
— Mikaela Shiffrin (@MikaelaShiffrin) January 17, 2018
— Mikaela Shiffrin (@MikaelaShiffrin) January 10, 2018
4. Even a gold medal Olympian hates leg day. Skiers, during their off-season, train like astronauts. During the summer of 2017, Mikaela worked out at the Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah. She stayed with her physiotherapist, Lyndsay Young, who relayed that even Olympians hate working out their lower half. Following a day’s regiment of lifting weights and jumping stairs, Mikaela was in a foul mood. “When Mika got home last night, she said, ‘Whoever invented stairs is the biggest asshole,’ ” Lyndsay said.
5. She’s a Swifty. “I don’t know if I have a favorite band,” Mikaela said during her 2017 Reddit Ask Me Anything. “love all kinds of music! Classical, pop, some rock, alternative, singer-songwriter.. you name it.” When asked to pick some of her favorite bands, she named The Shins, Elle Goulding, Ludovico Einaudi, Angus & Julia Stone, and Taylor Swift. What will be her soundtrack when she finishes at Pyeongchang? How about Queen’s, “We Are The Champions?”
To learn more about Mikaela, visit teamusa.org. The Olympics begin live on February 8!
Are you excited to see Mikaela race in the 2018 Winter Games, HollywoodLifers?