U.S. Alpine Skier Mikaela Shiffrin Named TIME 100 Most Influential People

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Shiffrin crystal globes 2023
The season trophy haul for Mikaela Shiffrin: the large Overall Crystal Globe, Slalom Crystal Globe, and Giant Slalom Crystal Globe. | Picture: U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team Instagram Account

American ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin made TIME Magazine’s List of 100 Most Influential People of 2023. She joins the likes of King Charles, Drew Barrymore, Salman Rushdie, Joe Biden, and Janet Yellen in this honor. It is not the first time Shiffrin has made a list of top influential people. In 2019 the U.S. athlete made the Forbes 30 under 30 list.

Each year TIME Magazine assembles a list of 100 honorees who, in the eyes of the editors — past and present — are the most influential in that year. While not always necessarily famous, these 100 people have a distinct impact on our time and help shape our world. They all have a lesson to teach, but as Nancy Gibbs, former writer and editor-in-chief at TIME, says, “We can debate those lessons; we don’t have to endorse them or agree with them. But the influence of this year’s TIME 100, to my mind, is that down to the last person, they have the power to make us think. And they are using it.”

Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin realizing she had written history at Åre, Sweden, breaking Ingemar Stenmark’s record. | Picture: Leki Ski Outdoor Instagram Account

For 2023, a very central theme is running through the list: climate change. This year’s list features a record 16 people defending the environment, including the new leaders of Australia, Colombia, and Brazil, all recently elected on a wave of pro-climate sentiment. Also counted among that group are scientists like Andrea Kritcher, whose experiments brought controlled fusion power closer to reality than ever before; Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard donated his company to the fight; and environmental-justice advocate Catherine Coleman Flowers.

Each nominee has a brief profile written by a peer of sorts. Salman Rushdie, for example, had a portrait by U2 singer Bono. Mikaela Shiffrin’s profile was naturally written by none other than Lindsey Vonn. In her brief portrait of Shiffrin, Vonn writes, “With Serena Williams stepping away from tennis, there’s room for another big female global sports superstar, and Mikaela can fill that opportunity. She’s really stepped into the spotlight and done a great job moving the needle for our sport.”

Mikaela Shiffrin this year became the most successful skier of all time when she beat Ingemar Stenmark’s record for most World Cup victories. The Swedish ski veteran had held that record for almost 40 years with 86 victories until Mikaela Shiffrin swept past and shattered that record this year, reaching 88 World Cup victories by the end of the 22/23 FIS World Cup season.

Not only is Shiffrin extremely successful in Alpine skiing, but she is also a vocal advocate for action on climate change, women’s rights, and the visibility of snowsports in the eyes of the American public. She is undoubtedly a role model for many young athletes — not just in snowsports — and will leave a legacy that many can only aspire to come remotely close to.

Shiffrin wrote on social media: 

I can’t even put into words what an honor it is to be a part of TIME’s list of 100 Most Influential People. But I’d be remiss to not acknowledge everyone around me who has made this possible. This sport takes us across the world, competing in many different time zones with a lot of gear as we chase snow and deal with the ever-changing variables of weather, travel, winter conditions and beyond…my support team is the only way I’d be able to do this at all, let alone getting to the top step of the World Cup podium 88 times. These achievements really would never have been possible without my family, team, sponsors, and all of the fans of the sport of alpine ski racing. So, this honor is as much yours as it is my own…and I’ll celebrate you all.”

Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin on course. | Picture: U.S. Ski and Snowboard Instagram Page

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