Twenty-four-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin is already off to a record-smashing start for the 2020 ski season as she secured her 41st slalom first-place victory in Finland last Saturday (Nov. 3), breaking ski legend Ingemar Stenmark’s previous record of 40 slalom victories. Shiffrin is one of the biggest athletes in today’s ski world and her career sparkles with phenomenal achievements and jawdropping successes, but where did it all begin?
Born in 1995 in Vail, CO, to a family full of skiers, it’s no surprise that Shiffrin began skiing as soon as she could walk and competed in her first World Cup in 2011 at age 15, returning the following season to take her first podium in third place. In 2013, she took home a World Cup victory in slalom and the 2013 World Cup slalom season title, on top of still finishing up her high school education. She now holds 60 World Cup victories and was the youngest ever racer to reach 50 titles.
While Shiffrin is known as a slalom racer, “It was one of [her] big goals to win in every discipline when [she] first started racing”, and after winning her first super-G in Lake Louise, AB, in 2018, she achieved this and became the first athlete in World Cup history to win in all 6 disciplines. Shiffrin races for Team USA and competed in both the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympic Games, securing a gold in slalom in 2014 at only 18-years-old, along with a gold in giant slalom and a silver in combined alpine in 2018.
As one of the most loved and followed skiers today, Shiffrin has a significant fanbase that has attracted her almost 1M followers on Instagram and multiple high-end brand deals and sponsorships with companies like Bose, Oakley, Land Rover, and most recently a massive partnership with Adidas.
She has also recently released a new project she has been working hard on over the 2019 season: a 7-part documentary series, Matter of Time, with Outside TV all about her story and career, allowing fans to have a behind-the-scenes look at her whole life.
2019 was a huge season for Shiffrin as she took home 17 World Cup victories, smashing the previous record of 14 victories in a single season and firmly establishing her as the most dominant skier in the industry today. The world is watching Mikaela Shiffrin as the 2020 season gets going, starting with the World Cup in Killington, VT this weekend, a traditional win for Shiffrin since her first victory at the Sunday slalom in 2016. While the snow conditions are ideal this weekend and Shiffrin always says skiing at Killington is like racing in front of her home crowd, she will be facing some stiff competition on the slopes so we will have to wait and see how the races pan out on Saturday and Sunday (Nov 30 and Dec 1).