Mikaela Shiffrin graces Sports Illustrated cover
'The world's most dominant athlete'
Extra, extra, read all about it.
Mikaela Shiffrin is on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s March issue and she’s dubbed, “the world’s most dominant athlete.”
For readers of Sports Illustrated who do not live in a ski community, it may be controversial to call Shiffrin “the world’s most dominant athlete.” The average American sports fan might be more inclined to focus on the likes of LeBron James, Tom Brady or Mike Trout.
She is, however, the first Olympic athlete, according to a press release from the U.S. Ski Team, to be on the cover in a non-Olympic year in recent years.
The shoot for the SI cover took place on Feb. 1 in Trentino, Italy, after Shiffrin won two World Cup speed races in Bansko, Bulgaria, at the end of January.
Obviously, shortly after the shoot, Mikaela got word that her father, Jeff, passed away suddenly, making this a poignant time for publication.
Greg Bishop, the author of the Sports Illustrated piece, wrote, “None of (her fame and success) mattered when the call came, when Shiffrin, only 24, learned that her father, Jeff, had suffered a grave injury in an accident at home in Colorado. Mikaela and her mother, Eileen, immediately flew back from Europe and were able to spend Jeff’s final hours by his side.”
The article profiles the well-known story of Shiffrin growing up and her parents, Jeff and Eileen, trying to instill a sense of normalcy in her life; her first World Cup podium, her Olympic wins and the spectacular success of her 2018-19 season.
The piece then transitions into how Shiffrin was trying to deal with this season and the accompanying unrealistic expectations.
“This season’s been a bit of a struggle again. If that’s where the bar is now, it’s nearly impossible to even come close to that, let alone exceed it,” Sports Illustrated quoted Shiffrin as saying.
Through telling her surreal experience of being at last summer’s ESPYs and not feeling like she belonged in such star-studded company — she knew she wasn’t going to win Best Female Athlete and didn’t bother writing a speech (soccer player Alex Morgan was a mortal lock) and apparently her hands were shaking when she met the NBA’s James — Bishop writes about the constant struggle in Shiffrin’s life between being a normal person and the fame that is a part of her life, whether she wants it or not.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.