Mikaela Shiffrin sits down with Mike Tirico to discuss comparisons to skiing legends
After claiming World Cup win No. 77 in last Sunday’s super-G in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Mikaela Shiffrin sat down with NBC’s Mike Tirico Wednesday to discuss comparisons between the Edwards skier and some of the sport’s all-time greats.
“Just to have you mentioned in there in the chase with Ingemar Stenmark and Lindsey Vonn and then you — what does it make you feel when you hear about how close you are to those two legends?” Tirico asked.
“It’s quite surreal because I don’t think I ever expected when I was a little girl that I would even be in the running for a record like that,” Shiffrin answered from Europe, where her season continues with tech events Dec. 27-29 in Semmering, Austria.
“Of course, there’s still a ways to go before I even consider myself to be in the running. It’s hard to win races; so, just to be mentioned in the conversation is pretty spectacular.”
Shiffrin is just five wins from tying Vonn (82) for the most Alpine victories ever by a woman on the World Cup. Stenmark (86) holds the all-time Alpine record. The great Swedish athlete praised Shiffrin in an interview on olympics.com, saying he thinks Shiffrin will win more than 100 races when it’s all said and done.
“And it doesn’t make me sad at all,” he said, adding that when he started out as an athlete, he only had small goals.
“I was thinking about records when I was a racer, but as soon as I stopped racing, it didn’t mean anything to me,” he continued. Stenmark said he now skis only when his daughter is on holiday and it’s mostly cross-country.
Shiffrin said in October that records are important and special, but “it’s not the thing that I’m shooting for in order to retire.” She spoke in a similar vein toward the end of her conversation with Tirico, describing how athletes — “and all people” — too often define themselves and others by their successes and failures.
“I’m trying to take more of a standpoint that success and failure are more just guides that help you navigate the journey towards what you want,” Shiffrin stated.
“For me, winning another race, really just getting back to World Cup racing after the Olympics last season, reminded me that my life wasn’t over, the world didn’t end, and I still have plenty of my career to look forward to.”
Shiffrin came back from the Beijing Games, where she had no medals and three DNF’s, to secure a fourth career overall globe at the end of the 2022 season. She’s won three events this year and currently leads the overall and slalom standings.
Tirico also asked Shiffrin about what it’s like to be sharing success in elite sport with someone who competes in the same sport — and nearly the same level.
“He has more wins than I do this season so far,” Shiffrin said in reference to her boyfriend, Norwegian speed specialist Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.
“I feel like the last couple of years that we’ve been dating, I’ve learned so much from him in his attitude, his positivity. It’s pretty spectacular from a professional standpoint, but he’s also a really incredible human. It’s just an all-around pretty great situation.”
First episode of ‘Moving Right Along’ garners 34.5k views in first week
Shiffrin’s new Youtube series, “Moving Right Along,” was posted on Dec. 16 and already has over 34,000 views.
The almost 14-minute episode starts right before the Soelden, Austria, World Cup opener (which was canceled) and concludes with Shiffrin’s back-to-back slalom wins in Levi on Nov. 19-20. A pervading theme is the bounce-back from the Beijing Olympic disappointment to returning to the World Cup scene to win a fourth career overall globe.
“One thing I realized throughout the period of the Olympics was that failing doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It’s just the concept that you can fail so many times and still get up and still race and still succeed,” Shiffrin said early in the episode, which was directed by Mike Dawson and produced by Megan Harrod and Kilian Albrecht.
“What makes it hard is not reaching your own expectations and the disappointment that comes along with that after so much work that you put into something.”
Throughout the video, viewers are treated with a sunrise training session in Soelden, a meet-and-greet with fans and even clips of Shiffrin cooking kaiserschmarnn, a traditional Austrian dessert, with Kilde.
“I realized how not final failure is and how much more there is to look forward to,” Shiffrin states in the video. “It’s just, you keep the ball rolling.”
Of the 10 players listed on the varsity roster ahead of Tuesday’s home game with Summit, two were juniors, seven were sophomores and one was a freshman. It’s a far cry from the class of 10 seniors who last season led the Skiers to a perfect 27-0 mark and the Class 3A state championship.