Mikaela Shiffrin sits down with Mike Tirico to discuss comparisons to ski legends
Shiffrin also released episode 1 of "Moving Right Along" last week
After claiming World Cup win No. 77 in last Sunday’s super-G in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Mikaela Shiffrin sat down with NBC’s Mike Tirico Wednesday to discuss comparisons between the Edwards skier and some of the sport’s all-time greats.
“Just to have you mentioned in there in the chase with Ingemar Stenmark and Lindsey Vonn and then you — what does it make you feel when you hear about how close you are to those two legends?” Tirico asked.
“It’s quite surreal because I don’t think I ever expected when I was a little girl that I would even be in the running for a record like that,” Shiffrin answered from Europe, where her season continues with tech events Dec. 27-29 in Semmering, Austria.
“Of course there’s still a ways to go before I even consider myself to be in the running. It’s hard to win races; so, just to be mentioned in the conversation is pretty spectacular.”
Shiffrin is just five wins from tying Vonn (82) for the most Alpine victories ever by a woman on the World Cup. Stenmark (86), holds the all-time Alpine record. The great Swedish athlete praised Shiffrin in an interview on olympics.com, saying he thinks Shiffrin will win more than 100 races when it’s all said and done.
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“And it doesn’t make me sad at all,” he said, adding that when he started out as an athlete, he only had small goals.
“I was thinking about records when I was a racer, but as soon as I stopped racing, it didn’t mean anything to me,” he continued. Stenmark said he now skis only when his daughter is on holiday it’s mostly cross-country.
Shiffrin said in October that records are important and special, but “it’s not the thing that I’m shooting for in order to retire.” She spoke in a similar vein toward the end of her conversation with Tirico, describing how athletes — “and all people” — too often define themselves and others by their successes and failures.
“I’m trying to take more of a standpoint that success and failure are more just guides that help you navigate the journey towards what you want,” Shiffrin stated.
“For me, winning another race, really just getting back to World Cup racing after the Olympics last season, reminded me that my life wasn’t over, the world didn’t end, and I still have plenty of my career to look forward to.”
Shiffrin came back from the Beijing Games, where she had no medals and three DNF’s, to secure a fourth career overall globe at the end of the 2022 season. She’s won three events this year and currently leads the overall and slalom standings.
- 14 global medals. Shiffrin has finished on the podium 14 times at the Olympic Games and World Championships, with two golds and a silver at the Olympic Winter Games and six golds, two silvers, and three bronzes at Worlds.
- 5 gold medals at consecutive World Championships. When Shiffrin won gold in the combined at the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, she became the first skier to win a gold medal at five straight World Championships. She had won four slalom world titles in a row from 2013 through 2019, making her the first athlete to do so in any discipline.
- 77 World Cup wins. Shiffrin ranks third all-time, and second among women, behind only Stenmark (86) and Lindsey Vonn (82) in FIS Alpine Ski World Cup career wins.
- 33.9 percent. Shiffrin’s World Cup winning rate, from 227 starts.
- 124 World Cup podiums. That includes 69 in slalom, the most in a single discipline for a woman.
- 13 seasons. The 27-year-old has now taken part in 13 different seasons on the World Cup circuit, from 2010/11 through 2022/23.
- 12 Globes. From her 13 seasons, Shiffrin has won four overall Crystal Globes and eight discipline titles (six in slalom, one each in super-G and giant slalom). Her eight discipline globes lead all active skiers; her six slalom titles is tied for the most alongside Vreni Schneider.
- 49 World Cup slalom wins. That ranks top for any skier, male or female, in one discipline.
- 17 victories. That’s the FIS World Cup record for the most wins in one season, set by Shiffrin in 2018/19.
- 1 skier. The American is the only person, man or woman, to have won a race in each of the World Cup’s six disciplines (downhill, super-G, slalom, giant slalom, combined, and parallel).
- 15-364. Shiffrin’s age when she raced her first World Cup event in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czechia, a day before her 16th birthday in 2011.
Tirico also asked Shiffrin about what it’s like to be sharing success in elite sport with someone who competes in the same sport — and nearly the same level.
“He has more wins than I do this season so far,” Shiffrin said in reference to her boyfriend, Norwegian speed specialist Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.
“I feel like the last couple of years that we’ve been dating, I’ve learned so much from him in his attitude, his positivity. It’s pretty spectacular from a professional standpoint, but he’s also a really incredible human. It’s just an all-around pretty great situation.”
First episode of “Moving Right Along” garners 34.5k views in first week on Youtube
Shiffrin’s new Youtube series, “Moving Right Along,” was posted on Dec. 16 and already has over 34,000 views.
The almost 14-minute episode starts right before the Soelden, Austria, World Cup opener (which was canceled) and concludes with Shiffrin’s back-to-back slalom wins in Levi on Nov. 19-20. A pervading theme is the bounce-back from the Beijing Olympic disappointment to returning to the World Cup scene to win a fourth career overall globe.
“One thing I realized throughout the period of the Olympics was that failing doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It’s just the concept that you can fail so many times and still get up and still race and still succeed,” Shiffrin said early in the episode, which was directed by Mike Dawson and produced by Megan Harrod and Kilian Albrecht.
“What makes it hard is not reaching your own expectations and the disappointment that comes along with that after so much work that you put into something.”
Throughout the video, viewers are treated with a sunrise training session in Soelden, a meet-and-greet with fans and even clips of Shiffrin cooking kaiserschmarnn, a traditional Austrian dessert, with Kilde.
“I realized how not final failure is and how much more there is to look forward to,” Shiffrin states in the video.
“It’s just, you keep the ball rolling.”