Mikaela Shiffrin nominated for 2023 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award
Shiffrin returns to her pursuit of Ingemar Stenmark's all-time World Cup wins record with this weekend's speed events in Kvitfjell, Norway
Mikaela Shiffrin was recently nominated for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year awards according to a Feb. 21 U.S. Ski and Snowboard press release. The prestigious award will be decided by 71 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy this spring.
“Each nomination for a Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award comes as a surprise,” Shiffrin stated in the press release. “You just need to look at the other five nominees in the category — each one is an inspirational athlete and woman who took their sports to new heights in 2022.”
The 14-time World Championship medalist and 85-time World Cup winner is joined by Iga Swiatek (tennis), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (track and field), Katie Ledecky (swimming), Alexia Putellas (soccer) and Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone (track and field). Nominations for the category came via the Global Media Panel’s 1,400 members.
“It’s an incredible honor to be nominated this year,” Shiffrin continued. In 2022, Shiffrin won her fourth overall World Cup title after finishing the season with 14 podiums and five victories. At the Beijing Olympics, she did not medal.
“2022 was a rollercoaster year for me with everything that went on in Beijing, but with hard work, belief and the truly incredible team around me, we managed to finish the season strong and win our fourth World Cup overall title,” Shiffrin stated in the release. “Thanks to those around me for the unconditional support, and to the world’s media for nominating me for this award.”
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Stenmark says Shiffrin is “better than I was.”
After sitting out the downhill in Crans-Montana, Switzerland this past weekend, Shiffrin will return to the World Cup this Friday in Kvitfjell, Norway. This weekend’s three speed events — super-G races are on Friday and Sunday and a downhill is slated for Saturday — will provide the American superstar three chances to tie and perhaps even surpass the great Ingemar Stenmark (86) on the all-time World Cup wins list.
Amidst all the talk of his record finally falling, Stenmark said in an interview with the Associated Press this week that Shiffrin already has him beat.
“She’s much better than I was. You cannot compare,” the 66-year-old said. “She has everything. She has good physical strength, she has a good technique, strong head. I think it’s the combination of everything makes her so good. And I’m also impressed that she can ski good both in slalom and in super-G and downhill also.”
All of Stenmark’s wins came in the technical disciplines (he has 40 giant slalom victories and 46 slalom wins). While Shiffrin’s have come predominantly from slalom (52) and giant slalom (19) or parallel (five), she’s also stood atop podiums in the super-G (five), downhill (three) and combined (one).
“I could never have been so good in all disciplines,” Stenmark, who said he enjoys watching most of Shiffrin’s races, stated regarding the 27-year-old’s versatility.
“To become such a good skier you have to love skiing, and she has good touch with the snow, good feeling. She can adapt to all kind of different snow conditions.”
Associated Press writer Andrew Dampf noted that Stenmark is “drawn to Shiffrin’s methodical approach to skiing and — as someone known for his reservedness — appreciates her introverted personality.” The feeling of admiration is mutual.
“I would say the name means more than the number,” Shiffrin said to the Associated Press regarding Stenmark. “He’s an absolute legend in skiing. And no matter what I achieve, this kind of term, ‘the greatest of all time’ or the numbers — all that for me, it’s something that’s debatable.”
If she doesn’t break the record this weekend, the tech events March 10 and 11 in Are, Sweden — where she won her first World Cup race in December of 2012 — provides another favorable chance. Finally, the World Cup Finals from March 15-19 in Soldeu give her a last chance at history making.
“The thing for me about sports is that it gives people a reason to be inspired by whoever they choose to be inspired (by),” Shiffrin told the Associated Press. “So whatever I do, it’s a little bit of a moot point. And that’s how I feel about Ingemar. His name is in history as a legend of the sport that people will remember forever.”