After a blitz of summer conditioning, it's time for the women's technical team of Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) and Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) to get back on snow with their annual trek to New Zealand. Ski Racing Magazine caught up with the reigning slalom World Champion just before her flight to the Southern Hemisphere.
AVON, CO — It hasn’t exactly been an offseason of rest and relaxation for Mikaela Shiffrin. The 18-year-old passed through Vail and Park City recently as part of a busy summer schedule that has included stays back East, where she graduated from Burke Mountain Academy in June. In Colorado last week, Shiffrin and her mother Eileen sat in for an interview with FOX Sports conducted by gold medalist Picabo Street, one of the many pre-Olympic media obligations the rising star has had to fulfill this offseason.
PARK CITY, UT (June 24) – The successful athletic leadership that helped guide one of the most successful seasons in women's alpine history will continue to direct the 2014 U.S. Alpine Ski Team with the philosophy that idleness is not an option. Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser and speed Head Coach Chip White return for their 17th seasons with the U.S. Ski Team, while Roland Pfeifer will continue at the helm of the technical program. During the 2013 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season White led all six of his athletes - four of them for the first time - to the World Cup podium and saw Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) hoist a record fifth straight downhill title. Pfeifer, who begins his third year with the technical group, helped boost Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) to the slalom World Championship and the World Cup slalom title in only her sophomore season on tour.
Franconia, NH (June 4) - The Eastern Ski Writers Association (ESWA) has awarded Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) and Kieffer Christianson (Anchorage) with the 2013 Don A. Metivier Golden Ski Award.
This is Shiffrin’s third and Christianson’s first win. The winners were officially recognized at the New England Ski Museum in Franconia, NH, on May 31.
The Golden Ski Award has been presented to the top junior male and female skiers in the East since 1969. In 1975, the Ski was "lost." In 2007, the New England Ski Museum was given some artifacts, and in that donation was the original Golden Ski. ESWA revitalized the honor, and named it in memory of long-time snowsports journalist Don A. Metivier.
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (April 5) - World Championships gold medalists and Audi FIS Alpine World Cup champions Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) have again been honored by the U.S. Olympic Committee as Athletes of the Month, this time for March. It is the fourth time in the last six months that Ligety has been voted to the honor and the third consecutive month Shiffrin has recieved the award. The USOC Athlete of the Month award, which spans all Olympic sports, has not seen such consistency by any athlete in recent history, especially two athletes in the same sport.
VAIL, CO (March 27) - Residents and guests of the Vail Valley will have the unique opportunity to celebrate the success of Audi FIS Alpine World Cup champions Mikeala Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) and Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) on Friday, March 29, as the Vail Valley Foundation and Vail Resorts host a “Celebration of Champions.” The free event is slated to get underway at 5 p.m. MT at Mountain Plaza at the base of Vail Mountain, adjacent to Gondola One. In addition to special presentations, the Celebration of Champions event will also include free music, an autograph opportunity and the chance to join Vonn and Shiffrin on and around the stage for a group photo to support the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
SQUAW VALLEY, CA (March 24) - World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) was in position to lock a third straight Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championship slalom title when she straddled a gate on the tight middle section of the Squaw Valley Olympic slope handing the gold medal to Canadian and Westminster College student Anna Goodman. Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) captured silver with Norwegian Tonje Sekse, also a Westminster athlete, in bronze. The race, held under perfect California sun and spring temperatures, capped an incredibly successful U.S. Championships that drew record numbers of fans to Squaw Valley.
SQUAW VALLEY, CA (March 21) - Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) took full advantage of home snow to win the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships giant slalom for a record 16th U.S. title. The Olympic gold medalist from Squaw Valley finished .88 in front of a red-hot Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO), 18, who had just locked the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom title in Switzerland. The race opened the four-day culmination of the alpine ski racing year with over 500 young athletes from across the country converging at the 1960 Olympic mountain to hunt for U.S. titles.
SQUAW VALLEY, CA (March 18) – World Championship gold medalists Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) roll to the hometown of Olympic gold winner and record setting major championship medalist Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) March 20-24 for the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships. Mancuso, who cut her teeth with the Squaw Valley Ski Team, has eight Olympic and World Championship medals and a record 15 U.S. Championships – a number she'll be gunning to boost this week in Squaw. Over 500 top racers from U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association programs will descend on the legendary 1960 Olympic host mountain this week for the annual championships.
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (March 17) – Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) skied into eighth place Sunday during the World Cup giant slalom final, finalizing her fourth place overall finish in the Audi FIS World Cup standings for the second year in a row. Sunday capped an historic season for the Best in the World U.S. Ski Team with 18-year-old teammate Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) climbing to the fifth overall position and taking the globe for slalom. Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) won a record 17th globe for downhill and finished eighth overall despite her season-ending injury in Schladming. Slovenian Tina Maze won the giant slalom race Sunday. Next the team returns home for the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships at Squaw Valley.