Mikaela Shiffrin shares stories of her record-breaking season with hometown crowd in Avon
Kids and adults asked Shiffrin questions that ranged from what calms her down in the start gate to giving back.
After a record-breaking season, Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin returned home to Eagle County last week and treated fans to some insights of the past season and her personal life. She was grateful for the hometown crowd and shared everything from what she does to calm down before going out of the start gate to how she picks from the seven pairs of boots and 30 to 40 pairs of skis she travels with for each race.
With 17 World Cup wins and two World Championship wins this season alone, Shiffrin said she felt lucky to have had a season like that and credits the team that surrounds her. Her mom, Eileen Shiffrin wears many hats while traveling the globe with her daughter. “My mom plays the role of my coach, sometimes she’s my sports psychologist, sometimes she has to be my friend and sometimes she just needs to be a mom,” Shiffrin said.
Shiffrin’s’ dad, Jeff, who is an anesthesiologist, also plays the role of arranging all of Mikaela’s travel. “He takes care of our travel, making sure the airline tickets are booked, flights are right, if anything goes wrong, we’ll call him and even in the middle of the night, he’ll fix it,” Shiffrin said.
From her coaches, who do more than coach, they take video, set up the courses, inject the snow, do strength and conditioning training on the road, along with numerous other jobs, to her sponsors, Shiffrin said, “With all their help, they make my job easy…well, it’s not easy,” Shiffrin laughed, “but it makes racing easier knowing I have such a great team.”
Even though Shiffrin has a lot of support, she gives back to many other organizations. One of the questions from the audience asked which charities she champions.
Shiffrin said she cares about so many causes, but a few she supports right now are the Kelly Brush Foundation which helps with research for spinal cord injuries and brings safety practices to ski areas and the Tyler Robinson Foundation which supports pediatric cancer patients.
Shiffrin also does what she can to help raise money for her own team. “The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team is not funded by the government like most of the countries we compete against. So we rely on private funding,” Shiffrin said.
“One of my biggest priorities is to give back to the team and find any way to raise money for the organization so that other athletes who make it on to the team have the opportunities that I had or even more opportunities,” Shiffrin said.
The star athlete remained on stage and took countless photos and signed everything from ski poles and ski helmets to ball caps. Several adults got in line, too, in order to take a photo with this hometown legend.
“I remember the few times that I got to see my idols, even if they just skied by me getting on the chairlift,” Shiffrin said. “It was important for me, so I’m hoping that it’s also important for the younger kids the same way that I always felt. And if that’s enough to inspire them to keep shooting for the stars, keep reaching for their dreams, then that’s huge.”
To view the entire Q and A event with Shiffrin, go to the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WestinRiverfrontAvon.