Skier Mikaela Shiffrin’s Career Start And Road To The Olympics

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Fatima Araos

As Mikaela Shiffrin gets ready for the 2022 Winter Olympics, which is happening next month in Beijing, hopes are high that the 26-year-old alpine skier will bring home another gold to add to her medal haul from the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang and the 2014 Games in Sochi. Shiffrin won gold in slalom in 2014 and another gold in giant slalom as well silver in alpine combined in 2018.

The Olympics website describes her as “the most decorated U.S. alpine skier ever.” How did she become so good in her sport? Find out below.

Skiing Is In Her Blood

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Shiffrin was born on March 13, 1995 in Vail, Colorado to two former ski racers, Jeff and Eileen Shiffrin. She has an older brother named Taylor, who also raced for the University of Denver. As skiing was obviously in her blood, the would-be Olympian was introduced to the sport at a very young age, trying on her first pair of ski boots at the age of 3.

According to Sports Illustrated, she attended an after-school ski program in kindergarten at Vail Ski Resort and already showed promise at such a young age.

Olympic Dreams

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She also went to ski camp as a kid, where she made quite an impression on her instructor Simon Marsh.

“I was a coach at a summer ski camp on Mount Hood [Ore.],” he said. “Mikaela was nine. At the start of camp, we ask all the kids to write down a Camp Goal and a Dream Goal. For her Dream Goal, Mikaela wrote, ‘Be in the Olympics at age 16.’ Now lots of kids write that kind of stuff, but with Mikaela, all the coaches just looked at each other and said, ‘Yup, I can see that.’ And the only thing that prevented it was, there were no Olympics when she was 16.”

First World Cup

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Shiffrin’s family later moved to Vermont, where she attended Burke Mountain Academy, a boarding school that trains alpine ski racing athletes. One of her instructors, U.S. Olympian Chip Knight, witnessed her amazing performance and said, “I’m watching her train and she’s just incredible. She’s doing things, fundamentally, that I was still working on at the end of my professional career.”

At age 15, the sports prodigy headed to her first World Cup tour and, shortly after that, became the youngest skier to win a U.S. national championship.

Olympic Gold

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At age 18, Shiffrin competed at the Sochi Olympics and won gold in slalom, which made her the youngest medalist in history in that event.

Four years later, she returned to the Olympics in Pyeongchang and took home a gold medal again in giant slalom as well as a silver in alpine combined.

Her success in her sport has also earned her millions in prize money and endorsements. Shiffrin has a net worth of $3 million and partnerships with Adidas, Barilla, Visa, Longines, Bose, IKON Pass, and Oakley.