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Mikaela Shiffrin finishes second in Soelden GS

Seventeen-year-old New Zealander Alice Robinson scored the upset during Saturday’s season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, edging Mikaela Shiffrin by a mere six-hundredths of a second.

Shiffrin laid down the fastest first run on the Austrian glacier, only to have the New Zealander surpass her for the first World Cup win of her career.

According to Ski Racing Magazine, Robinson became the first New Zealander to win on the World Cup since Claudia Riegler did so in 1997.

Shiffrin earned 80 points with the finish as she starts her quest for a fourth consecutive overall World Cup title. France’s Tessa Worley was third.

While a surprising result, Shiffrin and Robinson were merely picking up where they left off at the World Cup finals in March in Soldeu, Andorra, where Shiffrin got the better of Robinson in the final GS of the 2018-19 season.

“For sure, there’s always disappointment when you come to the finish line and see the red light,” Shiffrin said via FIS Soundcloud. “There’s always going to be disappointment. First thing is that it was so close. The second thing is Alice skied so incredible today, just like she did in Andorra last year. It’s really cool to watch her and to see the fire in her eyes and the fire in her skiing. It’s really motivating as well, so a huge congratulations to her because she did a really, really good job.”

Coming off a record-setting season, expectations for the 24-year-old Shiffrin are exceptionally high, nigh unto ridiculous. It’s worth noting that Shiffrin in eight career starts in Soelden has “just” one career win in eight starts on the course. She finished third last season here, behind Worley and Italy’s Federica Brignone, and last won at the site in 2014.

In a way-too-early look at the 2019-20 points chase, Slovakia’s Petra Vhlova, second behind Shiffrin in the World Cup chase last year, finished 14th on Saturday, while Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener, third in the overall, was 15th.

“For me, it’s like a podium in the first race of the season is always a good thing, especially when it’s this close, and even more this year because I felt more comfortable and confident with my skiing and better in this first race than I ever have,” Shiffrin said through Soundcloud. “I don’t know. The way I felt today, it was really nice to race.”

First-run lead

Wearing bib No. 4, Shiffrin came down the first run in 1 minute, 7.89 seconds, 14-hundredths of a second ahead of Robinson. Brignone (0.86 seconds) and Slovenia’s Meta Hrovat (0.95) were the only others within a second,

When asked if she felt unbeatable after the first run, Shiffrin replied in the negative.

“No, I felt like a little like I had to race to win. I was trying to think of the second run as if it’s a totally new race, like in the first run, everything’s even and you just have to go for it and not protecting something. I was being even a little more aggressive sometimes,” she said via Soundcloud. “The aggression I used was a little bit in the wrong way, so I was making some mistakes. That’s also something that happens especially the first race of the season, just to get the balance of being aggressive taking the risk, but not too much, but also having the good skiing.”

A reminder, here, that Shiffrin is not a cyborg and is tuning her game because it’s the first time in seven months racing.

“That’s always been a difficult balance for me,” she said. “But to go on the limit for me today was not a bad thing and I’m proud of that too, even though it wasn’t as good as the first run. It was some really good skiing as well.”

As for Robinson, who turns 18 on Dec. 1, Saturday was a dream come true. According to The Associated Press, Robinson is flying back to New Zealand to finish up high school.

News and notes

• The Best Headline Award goes to Fis-Ski.com, which had “Alice in Wonderland.”

• American Nina O’Brien (San Francisco, Burke Mountain, and Dartmouth), the 2019 NorAm overall champion, took 21st. A.J. Hurt (Squaw Valley, California) did not make the flip. Storm Klomhaus (University of Denver) was a first-run DNF.

• Austria’s Bernadette Schilde had a second-run crash and tore her ACL, according to the AP.

• The men race in Soelden on Sunday in the first race of the post-Marcel Hirscher Era. The women don’t resume until the first slalom of the season on Nov. 23 in Levi, Finland.

New Zealand teenager Alice Robinson edges Mikaela Shiffrin to win World Cup opener

SOELDEN, Austria (AP) — New Zealand teenager Alice Robinson edged Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin to win the World Cup season-opening giant slalom on Saturday.

Robinson, who trailed Shiffrin by 0.14 seconds after the opening run, was one-fifth of a second faster than the American in the final run. She won her first World Cup race in only her 11th start.

Tessa Worley of France, who won the race last year, was 0.36 behind in third.

The 17-year-old Robinson, who is working with former Lindsey Vonn coaches Chris Knight and Jeff Fergus, won the junior world title in GS in February. She left her mark at the World Cup Finals the following month, when she finished runner-up to Shiffrin in the last race of the season.

It was the first women’s World Cup giant slalom win by a skier from New Zealand.

“I was a little bit nervous but I tried to keep myself calm, just trying to enjoy it all,” Robinson said about her second run.

Robinson had been the only racer to stay close to Shiffrin in the opening run, while pre-race favorites like Federica Brignone, Worley or Viktoria Rebensburg were at least 0.86 off the lead.

The victory came on only her third points-scoring top-30 finish, with Saturday’s result proving that Robinson’s achievement earlier this year had been no fluke.

“I think I proved that wasn’t a one-off so I am happy with that,” Robinson told The Associated Press after her opening run.

Shiffrin was full of praise for her rival, who, like Shiffrin in 2011, won her first World Cup race at age 17.

“You could see it last year that Alice is going to be really strong,” Shiffrin said. “It’s super cool and really exciting. She skied really solid so it’s awesome.”

Robinson started cooperating with Knight and Fergus in 2018, the same year she made her World Cup debut in Slovenia.

She is working full-time with the American coaches since joining the International Ski Racing Academy, which Knight and Fergus set up in the Dolomites, with Val di Fassa and San Pellegrino as main training venues.

Brignone, who was third after the opening run, finished 0.87 behind in fifth, ending up one place behind Norway’s Mina Fuerst Holtmann, who had her best World Cup result.

Bernadette Schild of Austria was hospitalized by helicopter after badly crashing and apparently injuring her left knee.

A men’s giant slalom on the same course is scheduled for Sunday.

So what does Mikaela Shiffrin do for an encore?

In 1498, Leonardo Da Vinci painted “The Last Supper.”

How does one top that? Well, roughly within the next 10 years, Da Vinci created the “Mona Lisa.”

Yes, the comparison is extreme — Alpine ski-racer Mikaela Shiffrin is not quite on Da Vinci’s level when it comes to contributions to humanity — but the expectations for the 2019-20 World Cup season which starts on Saturday with a giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, are.

After winning 19 of her 29 starts in 2018-19— between the World Cup and the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships — setting a record for World Cup wins in a season (17), winning two golds at worlds (super-G and slalom), scoring 2,184 World Cup points, the second most in World Cup history for her third consecutive overall title, winning discipline titles in super-G, giant slalom and slalom and finishing in the top 10 of all 29 races she entered, how does she follow that?

Is it possible to paint a “Mona Lisa” after you just finished “The Last Supper?” The tendency is to scale back expectations after her 2018-19 season.

  • • After Slovenian Tina Maze conquered everything during her record 2012-13 season, scoring a record 2,414 points with 11 World Cup wins and one worlds gold (super-G), she “slumped” down to 964 points, one World Cup win and two Olympic wins in Russia.
  • • Lindsey Vonn’s apex was the 2011-2012 season with 1,980 points and 12 victories. She continued her dominance with six wins in 2012-13 until she blew up her right knee at the worlds super-G in Schladming, Austria, inexorably altering her career.
  • • Hermann Maier followed his 2,000 points in 2000, including 10 wins, quite well with 1,948 points, another World Cup title, globes in downhill and super-G, 13 World Cup wins, including the Birds of Prey downhill, and a silver medal in the downhill at worlds.

History says it’s daunting for Shiffrin to come close to repeating was she did last season. Yet there is the part of the brain that asks what is not possible with Shiffrin?

After a record-setting season in 2018-19, expectations are sky-high for Mikaela Shiffrin.
Gabriele Facciotti | Associated Press file photo

Her performance trend line of World Cup wins has gone from six in 2014-2015 to 11 in 2016-17 — she did her ACL in 2015-16 — to 12 in 2017-18 to 17 last year. She has expanded her skillset out of being a Marcel Hirscher-tech racer — she won the super-G season crown last year. She even won a downhill in Lake Louise, Alberta, in December 2017.

The heart says, “Of course, she can.” The brain still advises caution.

For starters

Shiffrin will be kicking out for the eighth time in her career in Soelden, and she has “only” one win there in her career (2014). She started last season with a third-place finish, so much like an NFL opener, it’s best not to make too much of the first race of the season.

Traditionally, Levi, Finland, the first slalom of the season — Nov. 23 this year — has been friendlier to her. In six starts, she’s won three times, been on the podium five times and finished 11th in 2014, after which, by her standards, she royally chewed herself out in the press.

If she isn’t in the win column after Soelden and Levi, there’s Killington, Vermont, the only “home” stop on the tour. Holding a GS and a slalom race over Thanksgiving weekend, Shiffrin’s won one race there each of the last three years near her old stomping grounds at the Burke Academy.

Lake Louise, the first speed stop of the season, is usually on her schedule. The slope, being one of the tamer on the circuit, has always been a comfortable place for Shiffrin. She’s the defending super-G champ there on Dec. 8.

Does Shiffrin win the overall?

Very simply, yes.

This is more math than skiing. Shiffrin is part of a dying breed of overall racers. While she won’t enter every downhill this season, she’ll enter enough and win “bonus points” by finishing in the top 30. Again, she finished no worse than ninth — a position worth 29 points in the World Cup standings — last year.

Had she not entered any speed events (downhill or super-G) last year, she still would have run away from her nearest competition, Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, 1,655-1,383.

Let’s say her victory total drops by more than half, plummetting from 17 to eight. That’s still a base of 800 points and not a long road to get to Vlhova’s 1,383.

Vlhova will be Shiffrin’s biggest competition for the slalom title. Shiffrin has won that globe six of the last seven years, the only miss coming with her ACL injury in 2015.

GS should be a fun chase all season with Shiffrin (675 points last year), Vlhova (578), France’s Tessa Worley (500) and Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg (460).

What about speed?

These are probably the biggest questions? Does Shiffrin repeat as the super-G champ? Doubt it. Remember that bad weather — lack of snow or too much — scrubbed a bunch of super-Gs, in which Shiffrin was not scheduled to compete.

There are seven super-Gs this year, and she won’t compete in them all.

That said, does she compete in more downhills this year? The 2019-20 season is the only in a four-year schedule without a world championships or an Olympics. The schedule is more spread out than usual.

The women’s World Cup has a stretch from Jan. 25-March 1 with 10 speed events (four downhills, four super-Gs, and two combineds) with just two tech events, a GS and slalom in Maribor, Slovenia.

This might be an opportunity to enter a few speed races without losing her edge in her bread and butter. In an interview with the Vail Daily in August, she said she was considering it.

“There are speed races that I am considering, at least that I wouldn’t have otherwise if it were busy as it has been,” Shiffrin said. “In a sense, the schedule is not easier but makes it possible to explore some different things. For sure, it’s a good year to push myself a little bit more, not too much but just see what the possibilities are.”

So how many wins?

When in doubt, follow the money. Bwin.com, an international betting website, has Shiffrin at -500 to win the overall, meaning that you have to bet $500 to win $100. Vlhova is next at +1000 — $100 to win $1,000.

The money overwhelmingly likes Shiffrin for a fourth consecutive World Cup title, and we agree.

On Interwetten.com, one can make bets on season-specific numbers. Will a racer win more than 13 races? The odds are 75-1 and keep in mind, Shiffrin had 17 last year.

How about a bet on someone earning more than 960 points in slalom? (Shiffrin had 980 last year.) That’s 150-1. Two-thousand points in a season? It’s 250-1.

Of course, we use these numbers for recreational purposes only, but they go back to how ridiculous Shiffrin was last year, and how hard a repeat of those accomplishments are. The gambling industry does not stay in business by giving away money,

We’ll go with 12 wins for Shiffrin, the World Cup championship, and the slalom title, but not GS.

In the meantime, Shiffrin is probably looking for her paintbrushes.

Mikaela Shiffrin embracing more pressure after record-setting season

The sky’s the limit for Mikaela Shiffrin after winning a record 17 World Cup races last season.

And not just because she reached lofty heights as a passenger in an F-16 jet with the Air Force’s Thunderbirds this offseason, either.

The 24-year-old ski racer from Colorado isn’t saying she can replicate that kind of success on the slopes again.

She’s not saying she can’t, either.

Shiffrin is thinking big as she heads into a season where she will be counted on to carry her sport even more with the retirements of stars like Lindsey Vonn , Marcel Hirscher and Aksel Lund Svindal.

Although, Shiffrin doesn’t view it as pressure so much as an opportunity — for her and others.

“We really have a lot of great athletes, great personalities,” Shiffrin said as the World Cup season gets set to open Saturday with the women’s giant slalom race in Soelden, Austria. “Some of the other women, some of the other men, they are going to be excited that they can be stars.”

Make no mistake: The three-time overall World Cup winner is the undisputed face of the sport with Vonn and Svindal announcing their retirements a while back, and Hirscher revealing his decision to step away last month after winning eight overall titles. He captured 67 of his 245 World Cup races, trailing only Ingemar Stenmark (86) and Vonn (82) on the all-time list.

“I do feel like all of these retirements have definitely sort of rocked the boat a bit in the ski-racing world,” said Shiffrin, who’s won 60 World Cup races in 157 starts. “For me, Marcel’s retirement, so far that’s one of the most impactful … I’ve really, really looked up to him and been inspired by his skiing for so long.”

She plans to sprinkle in a few more speed events this season since there are no Olympics or world championships. It’s a way to test her limits.

“But I’m going to take the same mindset of listening to my body and see how it’s feeling,” the two-time Olympic champion said.

It’s an approach that served her well last season. A quick recap:

— With her first super-G victory at Lake Louise last December, Shiffrin became the first athlete in FIS World Cup history to win in all six disciplines.

— Earned her fourth-straight slalom title at the world championships in Are, Sweden.

— Finished with 17 World Cup wins to eclipse the mark for most in a season (14) that was held by Vreni Schneider.

For the 2019-20 season, she said she’s setting realistic goals because, “who in their right mind can expect to keep repeating that forever?” Shiffrin cracked of her recent success.

“I may be not always in my right mind so if anyone would expect that it would be me,” she added. “I talked a lot last year about not really paying attention to expectations and sort of knowing there’s a difference between expectations versus standards and trying to keep my standards of my own skiing high and not having expectations. For whatever reason, that mindset clicked for me last year.”

So, she will keep that tactic.

“How do I out-do myself?” Shiffrin said. “Every year is different. You don’t know who worked harder and got better. You have to roll with it and see what’s possible. It’s very unpredictable. That can be nerve-wracking.”

As for how long she plans to compete, well, it’s based on various factors such as health and enjoyment.

“My motivation doesn’t come from breaking records,” said Shiffrin, whose mom/coach Eileen plans to accompany her as often as she can (Eileen’s also helping care for Shiffrin’s grandmother). “I still find so much joy from skiing, and feeling my turns getting better and improving. As long as that’s there, I’m ready to keep going.

“I don’t really have a timeline. I don’t know if I’m going to make it until I’m 30 or if I’m going to retire before that or after that. I probably don’t see myself going well beyond 30. But at same time, if I’m at that point and I’m still having an absolute blast and still reaching my own … standards of skiing, I’ll keep going.”

It was an eventful offseason for Shiffrin, who found time between training sessions to get settled into her new house , be a presenter with NBA rookie Zion Williamson at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards and experience g-forces as a passenger on board an F-16.

“That was insane,” Shiffrin said of her aircraft ride-along. “That’s probably going to top my list of wildest things I’ve done — or will do.”

Mikaela Shiffrin’s signature Oakley goggles now available

On Monday, Mikaela Shiffrin announced in an Instagram story that her signature goggles from Oakley are now available.

The Flight Deck XM Mikaela Shiffrin Snow Goggle costs $210 online and features Prizm Snow Sapphire Iridium lenses, inspired by the Northern Lights.

In her Insta story, Shiffrin shared a “fun fact.”

“Seeing the Northern Lights has been on my bucket list since I saw Balto when I was 3 and a few years ago I actually saw them in Finland,” she wrote.

The 2019-20 World Cup ski season kicks off in October, when Shiffrin will be defending the overall title.

Follow Shiffrin on Instagram @mikaelashiffrin.

Assistant editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

Everybody wants Mikaela Shiffrin to teach their kids to ski after Instagram post

On Tuesday, Mikaela Shiffrin shared a video on her Instagram account of her helping a young skier make some turns. Shiffrin, training herself, received lots of comments from followers asking for her to teach their kids to ski.

Fellow U.S. Ski Team member Breezy Johnson commented: “Watch out! Everyone’s gonna be asking you to teach their kids now!”

ESPN host Victoria Arlen commented: “Teach me please” followed by some emojis.

Mikaela Shiffrin shows Instagram followers her musical side

Mikaela Shiffrin has built a highlight reel of her playing music on her Instagram stories, showing fans her skills beyond skiing.

Between singing, playing guitar and keyboard, Shiffrin has enough talent to start a one-person band. But perhaps between striking new endorsement deals, settling into her new home and shattering skiing records, a record deal may not be high enough on the priority list at this moment.

Let it be publicly known that the Vail Daily would love for Shiffrin to come in for one of our Newsroom Jams, but there’s a caveat: due to legal limitations, we can only record her playing originals.

So, until that happens, we will just have to stay tuned on her Instagram page to see what she’s jamming.

Mikaela Shiffrin tours Colorado Snowsports Museum in Vail

Fans and followers of Mikaela Shiffrin have enjoyed playing ‘Where in the World is Mikaela’ this summer, from skiing powder recently in Argentina to presenting at the Kids Choice Awards with Zion Williamson earlier in the summer.

While at home in Eagle County, enjoying the completion of her first house, Shiffrin has been giving public talks, taking in the Colorado Classic cycling race and enjoying some time at the Colorado Snowsports Museum, located in the Vail Village parking structure and celebrating a $2.6 million renovation in 2018.

The 24-year-old Shiffrin, who already has memorabilia in the Hall of Fame as well as an interactive profile, toured the Colorado Snowsports Museum with Chris Anthony, a member of the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

In the video on Instagram, made by Anthony, Shiffrin marvels at vintage ski boots, a profile on herself, her own globe, some 10th Mountain Division history and more.

The Colorado Snowsports Museum is free to attend, with a suggested donation box upon entrance. The museum features exhibits, a Hall of Fame, gift shop and more.

Mikaela Shiffrin talks 2019-20, cycling and doughnuts

AVON — How in the wide world of sports does Mikaela Shiffrin follow up a record-obliterating 2018-19 World Cup season with 17 wins on tour — 19, if one includes FIS Alpine World Ski Championships golds in super-G and slalom — a career-high in points (2,184) and four crystal globes, including her third straight overall title?

Maybe, you don’t.

“Last season was almost a surprise, some of those super-G wins, world championship super-G, especially,” Shiffrin said Wednesday at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon. “I definitely realized how much I believed in myself, stepping into some of the starting gates just knowing that I could win if I really skied my heart out, and I did. I’m going to try to keep the same mentality this year. It’s the same thing. I still don’t expect anything. I’m trying to keep low expectations and high standards. It worked. It was so much more enjoyable for me to ski and, I think, it was more enjoyable for people to watch.”

So as Shiffrin took a break from what she describes as her summer/fall on-snow training — she was in Argentina earlier this week and hits snow again next week — to promote the Colorado Classic, presented by VF Corp., she sounded a bit like dialing down her expectations for 2019-20.

“In a way, I don’t know if there is anything to follow up,” Shiffrin said. “It was an incredible season. I’m really, really proud of it, me and my entire team were so proud of everything we accomplished last season. It’s kind of continuing to move forward.”

More speed?

Not surprisingly bedecked in an Adidas T-shirt and off-white sneakers — some of the goodies from her new deal — and blue jeans, Shiffrin spoke to Colorado Classic racers, patrons and local dignitaries Wednesday evening.

While giving “mad respect” to the women’s racers, who take on the second stage of the Colorado Classic today in Avon and Beaver Creek, Shiffrin isn’t about to take up competitive cycling.

“Road rash, I never signed up for that,” she joked.

She’s also gearing up for a World Cup season, starting with the traditional Soelden, Austria, giant slalom Oct. 26. This season is the exception to the rule — the one year out of every four when there are no world championships or Olympics.

With a little more space on the calendar, particularly in late-January and February — when speed dominates a stretch of 10 of 12 World Cup events — Shiffrin dropped a hint that she may be inclined to expand her repertoire.

“There are speed races that I am considering, at least that I wouldn’t have otherwise if it were busy as it has been,” Shiffrin said. “In a sense, the schedule is not easier but makes it possible to explore some different things. For sure, it’s a good year to push myself a little bit more, not too much but just see what the possibilities are.”

This is the typical Shiffrin caution, born of overdoing her schedule in the run-up to the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. She modified her schedule after that experience and started “only” 26 of 35 World Cup events last season. Shiffrin more than made up for it by winning 17 times and finishing in the top 10 in all of those 26 starts.

Yet it does seem some more speed — aside from the regular Lake Louise, Alberta, stop in early December — could be on the table.

The greatest?

Shiffrin started the Q-and-A with giving a modest assessment of her place in skiing history. While to most objective observers she is already in the “greatest of all time” discussion in the world of ski racing, Shiffrin acknowledged that there are those who will always think Ingemar Stenmark or Lindsey Vonn is the GOAT.

Shiffrin acknowledged, “On paper, I’m the best in the world right now. But what’s nice about sports is that paper resets every year. The work doesn’t stop.”

She knows that starting in Soelden, the world will be coming for her. Shiffrin will counter with her own standard — racing herself.

“Ski racing, of course, is a competition against all the competitors,” she said. “But it’s more of a competition against the clock. It’s about getting faster every day. … I find that so intriguing, and within the sport, I can explore my creativity, how to be faster, and I really, really like that.”

As a youngster, she found that creativity in watching Bode Miller and working with her parents, Jeff and Eileen, on the slopes, and she hopes that she can pass that enthusiasm for ski racing on to others.

In the meantime, she treasures her passions off the slopes or away from training, be they reading, playing the piano/singing or the occasional doughnut.

“There are no other passions. Doughnuts are the only thing in the world,” Shiffrin joked. “Just kidding. That’s going to be the headline on the newspaper.”

Shiffrin’s setup: Local builders, designers help make Mikaela Shiffrin’s dream home a reality

While Mikaela Shiffrin was off shattering records on the World Cup circuit last winter, winning 17 races and two World Championships, she was also texting, emailing and calling local businesses in Eagle County, planning the construction of her first house.

In July, the “Today” show featured the 24-year-old’s Edwards home, the place where Shiffrin will be making memories for years to come. But for the local businesses that helped build and design the home, they already have the lasting memory of working with the Olympic gold medalist on a one-of-a-kind home.

When Mikaela calls …

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I received the call that Mikaela Shiffrin was interested in our home,” builder Jim Guida said in an email. “She’s so young, this can’t possibly be too involved. As it turned out, Mikaela had a real vision of what she wanted in her first home.”

From a split-stone trophy wall (that will probably need to expand) to the 100-year-old reclaimed wood and a patina metal fireplace, an illuminating kitchen island and using glass and steel for a deck railing, Guida Construction helped lead the project that featured other local businesses.

“At one point she mentioned how glad she’s going to be to get out of her basement bedroom,” Guida said. “I thought, how fitting from humble beginnings to one of the greatest athletes in the world.”

Everyone involved has stories like these from their interactions with the down-to-earth Shiffrin.

Nancy Rehder and Donna Arenschield, owners of Home Outfitters Vail, said Shiffrin and her mother, Eileen, walked into the Avon store about a year ago.

“It was really a great experience,” Rehder said. “She is the sweetest girl, and Eileen was a big help. They work really well together as mother-daughter.”

From left, NBC’s Natalie Morales; Home Outfitters Vail’s Donna Arenschield and Nancy Rehder; and Mikaela Shiffrin celebrate the airing on the “Today” show of Shiffrin’s new Edwards home.
Brent Bingham | Special to the Daily

Jennifer Lafleur and her team at Colorado Pool & Spa Scapes also enjoyed working with the Shiffrins.

“She’s totally down to earth and super sweet,” Lafleur said. “It was a lot of fun.”

Balz Arrigoni, of Arrigoni Woods, received an email about installing the wood floors in the house, with Shiffrin and her mother copied on the email.

“Myself being Swiss, I responded right away with: ‘Hi, yes I am happy to work with you, of course, but only if you let Wendy Holdener win once!’”

Behind the ‘Today’ show tour

While the At Home with Natalie Morales segment was a culmination of the finished product, there was a lot that went on behind the scenes and wasn’t included in the piece.

The shelves in the living room with Shiffrin’s globe trophies are made from special boards from an old cow barn in Switzerland, Arrigoni said.

“Cows have walked over these boards for centuries and created the texture and worn feel,” he said via email.

Mikaela Shiffrin and her family were heavily involved in the process of creating their new home in Edwards, working with local businesses to create a one-of-a-kind home.
Brent Bingham | Special to the Daily

Guida Construction prides itself on building energy-efficient homes, and Shiffrin’s is no exception. The home has 100% LED lighting, triple-pane windows, 96% efficient heating and water systems and more, Guida said. With a HERS score of 19, the home is 81% more efficient than a new home built to code, he said.

Leading up to the filming with NBC, the home was still coming together.

“Her father hung half the chandeliers,” Rehder said.

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So excited to finally unveil my new house this morning on the @todayshow in @nmoralesnbc’s new “At Home with Natalie” series (link in profile)‼️ I’d like to give a big THANKS to all the local businesses who were involved in making my dream home come true. Namely, the builder Jim Guida and Alvarro Carrillo for all of their ingenuity in managing to incorporate my every request (while I was traveling and competing across the world, no less!) into this incredible and superiorly eco-friendly home. Donna Arenschield + Nancy Rehder (@homeoutfittersvail) for their assistance and patience with helping custom design my home and helping me achieve the look and feel of my “Mountain Modern-Euro- Alpine” taste 😊. Of course, @arrigoniwoods, for their indescribable influence on the soul of my home with their incredibly unique European wood floors and reclaimed wood features throughout my home. @closet_factory_colorado-for making my custom closet and organizational life dreams come true. Thanks to Colorado Pool + Spa Scapes for the “therapy pool” which keeps me relaxed, “centered" and pain-free. Finally, thank you to the one and only Natalie Morales, for telling my story and always being so wonderful to work with, and above all else – genuine. To all the people who contributed to this project – you all know who you are but I can’t mention every name, THANK YOU!! I love my new house; it’s my sanctuary AND THANK YOU for all of your kindness and support of my skiing!! 🙏🤗👏😊🏡🥰 📷: @brentbinghamphoto

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At the last minute, the design team realized the rugs weren’t in place.

“We called Larry Stone from the Scarab, and Larry came in there and laid everything down knowing that those rugs would be going back,” Rehder said. “It’s just one more facet of what this valley does to pull together to get a job done, and we’ve been used to it for years.”

The custom infinity spa is designed specifically for Shiffrin, specific to her height, and is now known as “The Mikaela Spa” at Colorado Pool & Spa Scapes in Avon.

Prior to the filming for NBC, the design team said they saw Shiffrin herself mopping the floor, helping with the chores that needed to get done.

“They have raised a lovely, kind, young woman,” Arenschield said.

And a heck of a ski racer, too.

“The one thing that probably stood out most was that she never missed an opportunity to let everyone know how thankful she was and how much she appreciated all our efforts,” Guida said. “To me, that says it all.”

About the builders, designers

Builders: Jim Guida and Alvarro Carillo, Guida Construction

Guida Construction is an award-winning, 30-year contractor in the valley specializing in high-performance home building and custom remodeling.

“I like being personally involved with our projects and have a great group of guys and some incredible subcontractors — it really makes all the difference,” said Jim Guida.

More information: Visit www.guidaconstruction.com or call 970-845-9100

Designers: Home Outfitters Vail

Home Outfitters Vail, now led by co-owners Donna Arenschield and Nancy Rehder, has a rich history in the valley and has been located in Avon for about seven years. With a helpful and knowledgeable staff of six, owners Donna Arenschield and Nancy Rehder lead the talented interior design team at Home Outfitters, featuring modern furnishings and accessories.

More information: Call 970-476-1320

Wood: Arrigoni Woods

Arrigoni Woods provides natural flooring that is expertly engineered and focused on European wood flooring that is durable, timeless, beautiful and natural.

More information: Visit www.arrigoniwoods.com or call 970-479-1800.

Pool: Colorado Pool & Spa Scapes

Colorado Pool & Spa Scapes started in 2001 in Glenwood Springs, and the company expanded to Avon in 2014, offering swimming pool and spa services.

More information: Visit www.coloradopoolscapes.com or call 970476-7005.

Assistant editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildail.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.