EAGLE COUNTY — If you’re Mikaela Shiffrin, the hits just keep on coming.
The youngest Olympic slalom gold medalist is nominated for an ESPY Award, ESPN’s version of an Oscar, awarded for outstanding athletic performances.
The 19-year-old Shiffrin is a little apprehensive. Competing for an ESPY is not like standing in the starting gate where you control your outcome.
“It takes a lot of fans voting for you to win one of those awards. I’m up against an MMA star and Olympic judo medalist, and two great basketball players. I’m a skier and I’m not sure how many people know that much about that,” Shiffrin said.
“I might have a chance because Lindsey Vonn won it two years in a row,” she said.
It’s a red carpet deal, so you get to dress up.
“My first thought was ‘Yikes!’” she said after learning of her nomination.
Her second thought?
“Better find a dress,” she said.
She’s been getting some advice from a New York fashion house — through the mom of a good friend.
“I’ve been sending her pictures of everything. They go through every option: shoes, jewelry, everything,” Shiffrin said.
The decision, for now, is that she’ll be resplendent in a black dress at the knees, not too short.
“The ESPYs want you to show off your athletic figure, but don’t go overboard,” she said. “I tend to be pretty conservative in my clothing choices, but it’s pretty bold in all the right ways.”
Since the Olympics, Shiffrin has been in a whirlwind, but gently reminds people she’s an athlete first and foremost.
She’ll work out this morning, and fly to Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon. She’ll mix a little business with pleasure and meet with some sponsors and potential sponsors Wednesday. They’ll have lunch, then go to the ESPYs. A full schedule by anyone’s definition.
In the middle of it all she’ll work out some more.
“I’m so honored to be included. I’m just going to try to have fun,” she said.
About the ESPYs
An ESPY Award, short for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award, is presented by ESPN to honor individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performance during the previous year.
Winners are chosen through voting by fans and sportswriters, broadcasters, sports executives and sportspersons.
Shiffrin is up in two categories, Best Female Athlete and Best Female U.S. Olympian.
The Best Female Athlete ESPY Award is presented to the female, irrespective of nationality or sport contested.
The Best U.S. Female Olympian ESPY Award is presented to the sportswoman or team affiliated with the United States Olympic Committee.
Shiffrin, at 18, became the youngest Olympic slalom champion during the Winter Olympics in Sochi. She also won the World Cup season title in the discipline.
Her competition for Best Female Athlete includes reigning WNBA Finals MVP and 2012 Olympic champion Maya Moore, 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist Ronda Rousey, who extended her MMA unbeaten record to 9-0, and NCAA Player of the Year Breanna Stewart, who led 40-0 UConn to the national title.
Vonn was the last Winter Olympian to win the Best Female Athlete ESPY, winning in 2010 and 2011.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.