VAIL — Residents and guests of the Vail Valley will have the opportunity to welcome home their newest Olympic champion Friday evening as the Vail Valley Foundation, the town of Vail and Vail Resorts host the “Gold Rush” celebration for Mikaela Shiffrin. The free event is slated to get underway at 5 p.m. at the newly renamed Championships Plaza in the heart of Vail Village.
On Feb. 21, the now-19-year-old Shiffrin became the youngest slalom champion in Olympic alpine skiing history, with her 0.53-second victory in Sochi over Austria’s Marlies Schild. Four days earlier, she made her Olympic debut with a fifth-place showing in the giant slalom.
World Cup Success
In addition to her Olympic exploits, Shiffrin recorded her fifth World Cup slalom victory of the current season March 15 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, to wrap up her second consecutive World Cup slalom title. During the course of the past two winters, Shiffrin has claimed a total of nine World Cup slalom wins.
“We are truly honored to say that the Vail Valley is home to this great international champion,” said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation and head of the 2015 World Championships Organizing Committee. “We could not ask for a better ambassador to inspire the next generation of skiers in our community and our country.”
In addition to special presentations, the Gold Rush welcome home event will also include free music, an autograph opportunity and the chance to be part of a community photo. At the conclusion of the event, all participants will be invited to join Shiffrin for a group photo that will be utilized to promote the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
“We hope that everyone will come out to welcome Mikaela home,” Folz said. “We are obviously extremely proud of her accomplishments and look forward to even greater things to come, especially as we now look ahead to the 2015 World Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek.”