Feb 4, 2022 - Sports

U.S. alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin could cement G.O.A.T status at Winter Olympics

Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin on the podium at the World Ski Championships. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin is looking to continue her dominant run at this year's Winter Olympics and further cement her status as one of the best in the history of the sport at only 26-years-old.

The big picture: Shiffrin, a Colorado native, is heading to her third Olympics, already has three Olympic and 11 World Championship medals, plus 73 World Cup wins — nine shy of Lindsey Vonn's all-time women's record. She's arguably the best to ever strap on skis and isn't even close to finished.

  • Shiffrin's last few years have been a rollercoaster off the slopes. She lost her dad in 2020 to an accident, suffered a back injury last October and got COVID six weeks ago.
  • One thing that's helped Shiffrin through the tough times is her new relationship with Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, the gold medal favorite in men's downhill and super-G.

What she's saying: “Unfortunately, there’s just not really a whole lot of time for that. I don’t really expect to feel ready to race. At this point, I never actually feel ready. You just race, I guess,” Shiffrin said in an interview about how she is dealing with preparing for the Olympics despite recently getting COVID.

The event: Shiffrin hopes to compete in all five individual events in her third Olympics: downhill (speed), super-G (speed), slalom (technical), giant slalom (technical) and combined (one downhill and one slalom run).

  • Downhill could be particularly challenging this year considering athletes had never skied the course until training sessions began on Thursday — a rarity for Olympic races.
  • Her biggest competition is 26-year-old Petra Vlhová of Slovakia, who won the overall World Cup title last year and has won nearly twice as many slalom events as Shiffrin in the past three seasons.
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