Mikaela and Aleksander: World Cup skiing’s new power couple
Shiffrin and Kilde announce relationship
Mikaela Shiffrin appears to be making a little news off the slopes as she has a new beau, none other than Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.
Seemingly every European media outlet is reporting that the duo is an item, showing pictures of the two working out at a spring-break locale.
We apologize for going all-TMZ, but for an athlete like Shiffrin who guards her privacy zealously, this, nonetheless, is a bit of a development. Shiffrin had been dating France’s Matthieu Faivre from 2017-19.
Of course, Shiffrin’s world changed dramatically after the 2018-19 season, when she set the world on fire with a record 17 World Cup wins and 19 victories overall (super-G and slalom gold at the 2019 world championships).
In the nascent days of calendar 2020, Shiffrin’s father, Jeff, died in a household accident. While she left the World Cup to mourn, COVID-19 ended the season and drastically altered the 2020-21 season.
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But life goes on and so does Mikaela.
While Americans obviously go ga-ga over Mikaela, and rightly so for her skiing accomplishments — three World Cup championships, six golds at world championships and two Olympic wins — Kilde can hold his own in the Alpine world.
Kilde is part of the Fighting Vikings, the nickname for Norway’s national squad, which is small in numbers, but powerful…when healthy. Everyone on the Fighting Vikings got hurt last season, including probably Aksel Lund Svindal, who retired in 2019.
Kilde made his World Cup debut during the 2012 Soelden, Austria, GS. Both Kilde and Shiffrin didn’t make the flip in Austria nine years ago. The Norwegian got his first wins during the 2015-16 season (Garmisch, Germany, Jan. 30, 2016, in a downhill and Hinterstoder, Austria, Feb. 27, 2016, super-G).
Kilde won the first of his two globes with super-G after the 2016 season. Kilde really came into his own as the world shut down for COVID-19 during the 2019-20 season, in which he won the World Cup title, while finishing second in the combined points, third in super-G, fourth in downhill and eighth in GS.
Kilde’s hopes of defending his overall championship ended with a ruptured knee ligament during super-G training in Austria in January. Again, it was just one of those years for the Norwegians.
Alpine relations between Norway and the United States have generally been friendly. Do remember that when Lindsey Vonn was terrorizing the World Cup during her career, she trained with the Norwegian Ski Team, most notably with Svindal.
Also, Svindal and Julia Mancuso were an item from 2010-2013.
Shiffrin’s social media feed says that she is back from her vacation and most recently training at Copper. The 2021-22 season starts in Soelden Oct. 23-24.