Who is Mikaela Shiffrin?
Get to know the 2014 Olympic slalom champion
Born March 13, 1995 in Vail, Colorado. Her parents, who were both competitive ski racers, taught her how to ski at age 2 and are still very involved in her career. Her mother, Eileen, is a coach and travel companion, and her father, Jeff, helps with logistics.
Shiffrin remembers watching on television as Bode Miller won two silver medals at the 2002 Winter Olympics. “I dreamed about winning Olympic medals like him,” she said, “but I did not expect that it would really happen until it actually did.”
At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, she became the youngest Olympic slalom champion ever at the age of 18. She became the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic slalom gold medal since 1972.
She is the reigning World Cup overall champion, joining Tamara McKinney and Lindsey Vonn as the only U.S. women to win the biggest annual prize in ski racing.
2013 World Championships, when Shiffrin won the slalom gold medal. At 17, she became the youngest Alpine skiing world champion since 1985. She successfully defended her slalom world championship in both 2015 and 2017.
Shiffrin wears a sticker on her helmet that reads ABFTTB (Always Be Faster Than The Boys). It was inspired by three-time Olympian Heidi Voelker, who reportedly wrote the acronym on a poster she autographed for a six-year-old Shiffrin.
“There’s clearly no one out there in the technical disciplines, especially the slalom, that’s on Mikaela’s level,” Vonn said to The Associated Press.
2014: Slalom gold medal
Off the mountain
Shiffrin has a Tabby cat. named Muffin. “She sleeps all day, and if she isn’t sleeping, then she is eating, or begging for food,” Shiffrin said. Shiffrin loves Muffin, but she is not sure if the feeling is mutual.
Shiffrin says that she is “reasonable” at playing the guitar and piano. As a singer, she believes that she “[doesn’t] have a terrible voice, although I certainly can’t belt it out in an Opera hall.” She can also dance, as evidenced by her music videos:
She can also juggle and unicycle. She juggles tennis balls and hacky sacks, but avoids knives and fireballs.
She considers Olympic swimming champion Missy Franklin to be one of her best friends.
She went to prom with Thomas Walsh, who is hoping to compete at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.