Mikaela Shiffrin: American Skiing Star on the Rise

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By Jake M.

In February 2018, the winter olympics was held in  PyeongChang, South Korea. While there are a wide range of events from hockey to curling my favorite is alpine skiing. Most Americans think of Lindsey Vonn and Ted Ligety as the image of the United States Ski team in their respective genders, however, a new star has begun to rise. Her name is Mikaela Shiffrin.

Born in Vail, Colorado she is the daughter of Eileen and Jeff Shiffrin (both former ski racers). Jeff raced for Dartmouth as an undergraduate; her mom Eileen raced in high school in the Berkshires, Massachusetts. Her Brother Taylor Shiffrin raced for the University of Denver.

Shiffrin wasted no time. As soon as she became eligible to race at an FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski) event she took off. In just her eighth race, she won a Nor-Am Cup race in the super combined, in December 2010 at the age of fifteen. She finished in the top 3 in her next three races: Runner-up in the super-g, third in giant slalom, and victory in the slalom. Weeks later, she won a pair of Nor-Am races in Sunday River, Maine. She continued to shock the world when she won the Junior World Ski Championships in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.

She made her World Cup debut in on March 11, 2011 in a giant slalom race in Špindlerův Mlýn, Czech Republic. In April 2011, a few weeks after her 16th birthday, she won her first U.S. National Championship in Winter Park, Colorado and became the youngest Alpine Ski Racer to claim a national title. On December 29th, 2011 she finished third in the world cup slalom event at Lienz, Austria and in the 2013 World Cup season she took first place in Lenzerheide, Switzerland at the age of seventeen. Her overall world cup medal count is four with three gold and one silver (gold: 2013 Schladming, Austria, 2015 Beaver Creek, Colorado, 2017 St. Moritz, Switzerland, Silver: 2017 St. Moritz). The three golds came in slalom and the silver in giant slalom. Shiffrin has won 43 World Cup races which is fifth all-time by a Female Skier.

Her accomplishments don’t end there. She’s won three Olympic medals (2 gold and one silver). At age eighteen she won gold in slalom during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Russia, and at age 22 she won Gold in giant slalom and silver in the super combined events in Pyeongchang, South Korea, 2018. Her two career gold medals are tied for most all time by an American Olympics skier (Ted Ligety and Andrea Mead Lawrence).

Shiffrin, now 23 years old, has a long career ahead and it seems inevitable that one day she will become the most decorated female skier. In a recent interview she was asked what the acronym ABFTTB on her helmet means. Her response “always be faster than the boys” made me laugh. Her story needs to be spread to inspire young skiers, especially girls.

 

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Love

love

Love : Love means so many things, and elicits so many emotions. It is the source of ideas, dreams, goals, desires, frustration, and happiness. When you are lucky enough to love something or someone, you allow yourself to be vulnerable, learn, share a common bond, sometimes become disappointed, and ultimately grow as a person. So many  people let past experiences prevent themselves to let someone or something close enough to enjoy the feeling. True love does take work, commitment, grit, tenacity and the support of others. Personally, I believe that love is absolutely the most important emotion to feel. It is what drives me. When
I feel love, I am able to be supportive of others because I want them to also experience the joy and rush from what results. Love equals happiness, and happiness is positive, and therefore being positive is when we can focus on outcomes.

The outcomes of watching or helping someone else succeed is one of the greatest forms of love, because you cheer them on, you believe in them, you help them reach their goals, you grow yourself as a person, and your heart then truly knows the meaning of love comes from giving of yourself.

So, I challenge everyone to let go of the reasons that hold you back experiencing love…..whether it is you’d love to start that hobby, get in better shape, take a class, volunteer, or be a better friend, wife, husband, daughter, or son. Allow yourself to feel that wonderful and powerful feeling. Stop holding yourself back, and experience that goose bumpy, tingly, giggly, smile that you WILL absolutely experience from sharing a part of you with someone or something. Stop fretting, grumbling, arguing, making excuses looking down on others, complaining about how bad everything is…. the internal happy giddy smile is in there, and it feels oh so good when YOU feel it.

Warning: It is also contagious