"This season was absolutely incredible...and it got me thinking, ‘Why is a record actually important?’ And I just feel like it’s not important to break records or reset records. It’s important to set the tone for the next generation and inspire them."
18 Things You Didn't Know About Mikaela Shiffrin
- 1. Mikaela was named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in 2023, in the 'Pioneer' category, and was awarded the 2023 ESPY Award for "Best Athlete - Women's Sports".
- 2. Mikaela officially became the winningest alpine skier of all time, as of March 11th, 2023, when she secured her 87th World Cup victory in Are, Sweden. She finished the 2022-23 season with one more giants slalom victory in Soldeu, Andorra, to bring her win tally to 88.
- 3. In September 2020, Mikaela and her family helped to launch the Jeff Shiffrin Athlete Resiliency Fund, in honor of her father. In response to the COVID-19 crisis and setbacks it has created for our sports, a group of generous donors (six families) have stepped up and offered to match, dollar for dollar, every single contribution raised up to $1.5 million to enable athletes across all sports to continue to keep the ship sailing smoothly, allowing camps to run as planned, so all U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes can maintain their competitive edge throughout a prolonged period of uncertainty. Ongoing, the fund has been transformed into direct-to-athlete funding and has raised over $3.5million+ dollars for U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes to date.
- 4. She became the most decorated American athlete in Alpine World Ski Championships history at Cortina 2021, after winning bronze in super-G and gold in the alpine combined.
- 5. In Levi in 2019, Mikaela surpassed Ingemar Stenmark’s slalom win record (they were tied at 40 victories), making her the winningest slalom skier of all time.
- 6. She became the youngest woman in U.S. history to win a World Championship and the youngest athlete in history (male or female) to win an Olympic slalom gold medal in Sochi in 2014.
- 7. With her first super-G win at Lake Louise in December 2018, Mikaela became the first athlete in FIS Ski World Cup history to win in all six disciplines.
- 8. In 2019 at the Åre, Sweden World Championships, Mikaela grabbed her fourth-straight slalom title. With this victory, she became the first athlete to win four successive World Championship titles in a single discipline.
- 9. In 2019, she had 17 World Cup victories on the season, shattering Vreni Schneider’s record for wins in a single season (Vreni had 14 wins).
- 10. Mikaela made her World Cup debut at 15-years-old in 2011 at Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic.
- 11. In the 2016 slalom opener at Aspen, Mikaela won by 3.07 seconds—it was the largest women’s slalom win margin since 1968.
- 12. Mikaela's first World Cup podium was a third place in slalom in Lienz, Austria at age 16 in 2011. Her first victory came the next season, in Are, Sweden in December 2012.
- 13. If she was not a skier, Mikaela would study marine biology or environmental science. She loves to play guitar and piano, and sing (check out her Instagram!), play tennis, windsurf, and more. She also can unicycle and juggle a soccer ball like a boss!
- 14. Mikaela has a small herd of reindeer - the annual prize for the Levi World Cup victor. Their names are Rudolph (2013), Sven (2016), Mr. Gru (2018), Ingemar (2019), Lorax and Sunny (2022).
- 15. At Cortina 2021 World Championships, she became the first skier - male or female - to win gold medals at five straight Worlds. With her gold in giant slalom at Courchevel/Meribel, she has now extended that record to six straight Worlds.
- 16. Mikaela credits her mother, Eileen, as being the most influential person in her career. "She's an inspiration to me for her caring nature, incredible ability to learn anything, and constantly putting others before herself."
- 17. On January 11, 2022, under the lights in the famous Schladming Night Slalom, Mikaela made history once again when she won her 47th career slalom win, surpassing Ingemar Stenmark for single discipline wins in an emotional victory.
- 18. Mikaela is the winningest female giant slalom skier of all-time, surpassing the Swiss Vreni Schneider, with her 21st giant slalom victory on March 19, 2023.
Mikaela Shiffrin Ends Season with WIN #88 - Soldeu Giant Slalom 2023
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Mikaela Shiffrin Ties Stenmark! - WIN 86 - Are Giant Slalom World Cup 2023
Mikaela Shiffrin Wins GOLD - Giant Slalom World Championships 2023
Mikaela Shiffrin Takes SECOND - Slalom World Championships 2023
More on Mikaela
Two-time Olympic gold medalist and seven-time world champion Mikaela Shiffrin began turning heads almost instantly when she finished top 15 in her first two NorAm Cup races. But the heads started spinning when she won a super combined in British Colombia two weeks later, and then ski fans and coaches went cross-eyed when she landed a World Cup podium during her rookie season–at age 16. She then proceeded to blow the world apart with a World Championship slalom gold medal and the World Cup slalom title during her sophomore year.
She topped herself again in 2014, earning five more World Cup wins, giant slalom podiums, an Olympic gold medal, and a second-straight slalom title. In 2015 she really wowed us–successfully defending her World Championship slalom title on home turf under immense pressure at Vail/Beaver Creek, and then snagging her third-straight slalom title. During the 2016 season, Shiffrin sustained a knee injury during a warm-up run in Are, Sweden in December and was sidelined. That didn't stop her for too long, though–she came back and went on to win all of the remaining slalom races she competed in on the World Cup tour.
Shiffrin's career success has reached full-on legend status, but it was her 2019 season that was one for the books, as she shattered records every weekend she hit the mountain. Her mind-blowing achievements turned heads from major mainstream publications, including The Washington Post to ESPN, USA Today, and beyond who deemed Shiffrin the "world's most dominant athlete" placing her amongst the upper echelon of athletes, like Serena Williams, LeBron James, and more.
Shiffrin's meteoric rise into the World Cup elite wasn't a surprise to anyone who's been paying attention. With the work ethic and passion of a veteran, Shiffrin posted her first World Cup starts as a 15-year-old and nearly scored her first points. Her first podium happened a year later (2012), and then she let loose.
Mikaela Shiffrin Key Career Achievements
- In 2013 Shiffrin became the first U.S. slalom World Cup champion since Tamara McKinney in 1983-84.
- She became the youngest woman in U.S. history to win a World Championship and the youngest athlete in history (male or female) to win an Olympic slalom gold medal in Sochi in 2014.
- Shiffrin has notched 82 career World Cup wins across six disciplines (slalom, giant slalom, parallel slalom, alpine combined, super-G, and downhill). In 2019, with her first super-G win at Lake Louise, Shiffrin became the first athlete in FIS Ski World Cup history to win in all six disciplines.
- She snagged her first giant slalom victory in 2015 at the season-opener in Soelden and added three more to her trophy case in 2017, including a sweep in Semmering and a win on home soil in Palisades Tahoe, California. She also won her first alpine combined in Crans Montana, Switzerland in 2017, her first downhill in Lake Louise in 2018, and her first super-G in Lake Louise in 2019–safe to say that with this win, she has arrived on the speed scene.
- With 88 career World Cup wins (as of March 19th, 2023), Shiffrin is the winningest alpine skier of all time.
- Youngest racer ever to reach 80 World Cup victories and is first on the list of all-time World Cup victories among men and women, with 88.
- In the 2016 slalom opener at Aspen, Colo., Shiffrin blew away a 34-year-old winning drought in Aspen, with no American woman standing on top of the FIS Ski World Cup podium at Aspen since Tamara McKinney won in 1981. And Shiffrin didn’t just break the record; she annihilated it, winning the race by 3.07 seconds. That margin broke yet another record–it was the largest women’s slalom win margin since 1968 by 3.07 seconds.
- Shiffrin won all five of the slalom races she competed in during the 2016 season, and she did it by a combined time of 10.56 seconds–a 2.11-second average margin of victory.
- During the 2017 season, Shiffrin snagged two tech series gold medal sweeps–in Semmering and Squaw Valley. She also recorded three victories on home soil–two in Squaw Valley, Calif. (one giant slalom and one slalom) and one in Killington, Vt.
- Shiffrin joined an elite group of American skiers in 2017, becoming just the fifth to win an Overall title, and she did it at a mere 22-years-old. She grabbed her third-straight overall globe in 2019, along with her sixth slalom globe in seven seasons.
- In 2018, Shiffrin fulfilled her goal of reaching the top of the podium in the giant slalom at the Olympics, with gold in giant slalom and a silver in the alpine combined.
- In 2019 at the Åre, Sweden World Championships, Shiffrin grabbed her fourth-straight slalom title. With this victory, she became the first athlete to win four successive World Championship titles in a single discipline.
- Mikaela is the first alpine athlete to win the following combination of World Cup Crystal Globes in a single season (2019): overall, slalom, giant slalom (her career-first), and super-G (her career-first). This is incredibly unique, as super-G and slalom are completely different disciplines. It’s like a track athlete winning consistently in the 1500m run while also winning in the 100m. Very different.
- First athlete–male or female–to win 15 World Cup races in a calendar year (2018)
- Became the Winningest Slalom Skier of All-Time, with 41 World Cup slalom victories (surpassing Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark's previous record of 40) in 2019. As of March 11, 2023, she has 53 slalom victories.
- First athlete–male or female–to win both the super-G and slalom world championships in the same year (2019). She also took home a bronze medal in the giant slalom.
- In 2019, Mikaela had 17 World Cup victories on the season, shattering Vreni Schneider’s record for wins in a single season (Vreni had 14 wins).
- Mikaela’s winning and podium percentage on her historic 2019 season:
- 29 races, with 24 podiums (including 2019 World Champs giant slalom bronze), 19 of which were wins (including 2019 World Champs super-G and slalom victories)
- There was an 83% chance Mikaela will podium a race she entered, and a 66% chance she’d win - across five disciplines (downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, parallel slalom)
- In Levi in 2019, Mikaela surpassed Ingemar Stenmark’s slalom win record (they were tied at 40 victories), making her the winningest slalom skier of all time. She named her reindeer “Ingemar” to honor the legend. With her win in Killington, over Vlhova by 2.29 seconds, and her win in Lienz, Austria–she now has 53 career slalom victories (as of March 11, 2023).
- At Cortina 2021, Mikaela became the most decorated American athlete in Alpine World Ski Championships history, with nine World Championship medals (six golds, one silver, two bronze). She also became the first skier – male or female – to win gold medals at five straight Worlds. At Courchevel/Meribel 2023, she extended that to six Worlds in a row.
- On January 11, 2022, under the lights in the famous Schladming Night Slalom, Mikaela made history once again when she won her 47th career slalom win, surpassing Ingemar Stenmark for single discipline wins in an emotional victory.
- Mikaela became the third athlete in history to win 80 races Semmering, Austria, on December 29, 2022. It was also her 50th career slalom victory, she swept the series, winning three races in three days (GS, GS, SL) for the second time in her career (she did the same thing in 2016 at Semmering).
- On December 29, 2022, Mikaela and teammate Paula Moltzan's 1-2 finish became the first time two American women have shared a World Cup slalom podium since Marilyn and Barbara Ann Cochran went 1-2 in December 1971.
- On January 4, 2023, Mikaela won her 81st World Cup victory and fifth-straight win on tour (across three different disciplines: slalom, giant slalom, and super-G), matching the longest streak for a man or woman in 25 years. Three skiers have won six or more World Cup races in a row: France’s Jean-Claude Killy (two streaks in 1967), Swiss Vreni Schneider (eight in a row in 1988-89) and German Katja Seizinger (1997).
- On January 8, 2023, Mikaela surpassed France’s Tessa Worley with her 17th career giant slalom victory, making her solo second most on the all time GS victory list behind Vreni Schneider’s record of 20. On March 19, 2023, Mikaela broke Vreni’s record, grabbing her 21st career giant slalom victory.
- Mikaela matched Lindsey Vonn's record with 82 wins when she won a giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, on January 8, 2023. Just over two weeks later, on January 24, 2023, she earned no. 83 in Kronplatz, Italy in giant slalom to break Vonn's record.
- On March 4th, 2023, Mikaela clinched her career fifth overall title, surpassing former teammate Lindsey Vonn (4). Among women, only Annemarie Moser-Pröll has more overall titles (six).
- On March 10th, 2023, Mikaela matched Ingemar Stenmark with 86 victories in his home country of Sweden (Are). She also secured her second career GS globe and equalled Vreni Schneider's all time GS win record of 20. On March 19, 2023, Mikaela broke Vreni’s record, grabbing her 21st career giant slalom victory.
- Just one day later, on March 11th, 2023 (and two days before her 28th birthday), Mikaela went down in history as the greatest skier of all time, surpassing Stenmark's record with her 87th World Cup win...again, in Stenmark's home turf in Are, Sweden.
- Mikaela was named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in 2023, in the 'Pioneer' category.
- Mikaela was awarded a 2023 Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Award for "Best Athlete - Women's Sports".
At this point, one could argue that the only true competition Mikaela Shiffrin has is herself.
Mikaela was getting freshies down the family driveway at age three and quickly graduated to running gates at Vail.
"When I was a J5 I did a lot of free skiing and I actually didn't like free skiing. I just thought it was a waste of time and I would've rather been training or directed free skiing. I always wanted to be thinking of something, whether it was 'arms forward' or my parents had a saying 'knees to skis and hands in front'–it's been drilled into my head and every time I get on snow that's what I start thinking. I did free ski a lot. I did do a lot of drills. It was probably 1/3 free skiing, 1/3 drills, 1/3 gates, and I did a lot of mogul skiing. I loved skiing the bumps, just the rhythm, trying not to eat it on a bump was really fun for me."