Our View: Eagle-Vail’s Mikaela Shiffrin looks to be having fun while dominating ski racing
Colorado’s heart belongs to the Denver Broncos, and running back Phillip Lindsay has been a shining light in a mediocre-to-dreary season.
Lindsay was raised in Aurora, went to school at the University of Colorado and now, as an undrafted rookie, has given a much-needed spark to the team.
Here in the Vail Valley, we still love our Broncos, but a youngster from Eagle-Vail continues to set the ski-racing world on its ear, showing fire and enthusiasm as she does it.
At the tender age of 23, Mikaela Shiffrin already has a roomful of World Cup wins and shows no signs of slowing down.
Entering this season, Shiffrin was already acknowledged as perhaps the best slalom skier around. She’s won two overall World Cup championships. She’s also been expanding her racing repertoire and is now the first athlete to win World Cup races in all disciplines: slalom, giant slalom, super-G, combined, downhill and parallel slalom.
Last weekend, Shiffrin won three world cup events in eight days — a pair of super-G wins at Lake Louise, Alberta, and St. Moritz, Switzerland, and a parallel slalom win at St. Moritz.
She already has more than double the World Cup points of her closest rival.
Barring injury, Shiffrin seems poised to add another overall title to her trophy room.
This level of dominance is rare in any sport. Even more rare is the enthusiasm and sense of fun Shiffrin brings to her sport. Golfer Tiger Woods won everything in sight during his prime. He never really seemed to enjoy himself. University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban may be the greatest-ever in his sport, and usually looks like he has a colonoscopy scheduled for the next day.
Shiffrin is as steel-nerved as competitors come, but she’s rarely pictured without a broad, genuine smile.
In terms of wins, Lindsey Vonn is at the top of the mountain, and once enjoyed the kind of dominance Shiffrin now displays. We’re all rooting for Vonn in her pursuit of the all-time record for wins in World Cup skiing.
When Vonn claims that record, it may not last long. Shiffrin, at 23, already has 48 world cup victories, and seems to be having a ball doing it.
She’s really good, and she’s one of ours. That’s something to celebrate.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Krista Driscoll, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart and Business Editor Scott Miller.