From the start, Shiffrin showed she was the skier to beat

Jan 23, 2023, 7:08 PM | Updated: Jan 24, 2023, 9:12 am

FILE - United States' Mikaela Shiffrin, third place in an alpine ski, women's World Cup downhill, r...

FILE - United States' Mikaela Shiffrin, third place in an alpine ski, women's World Cup downhill, right, is hugged by second-placed United States' Lindsey Vonn, in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy, In this Friday, Jan. 19, 2018 file photo. Mikaela Shiffrin has had a World Cup skiing career like no other woman. Shiffrin raced to a record-breaking 83rd win Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati, File)

(AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati, File)

From a prodigiously talented 15-year-old to the most decorated female skier of all-time, Mikaela Shiffrin has done quite a lot in only 12 years.

The American skier won her record-breaking 83rd victory Tuesday in her 238th race on the World Cup circuit, the globe-trotting competition for the best skiers on the planet.

Shiffrin, who broke a tie with former teammate Lindsey Vonn by winning a giant slalom in Italy, has also won two Olympic gold medals and one silver, plus six world championship titles and five more medals from that biennial competition.

But it is her World Cup career — and now her pursuit of Ingemar Stenmark’s once mythical total of 86 wins — that has made her one of the greatest skiers in history.


Shiffrin’s racing career on the World Cup circuit started two days before her 16th birthday in March 2011 in the Czech Republic. Wearing bib No. 46 in a giant slalom, she finished outside the top 30, meaning she didn’t qualify for a second run.

Her first slalom, the discipline she would come to dominate with 51 victories, was the next day and again she finished outside the top 30.

Shiffrin’s first podium came in December 2011. Wearing bib No. 40, she was third behind ski greats Marlies Schild, a childhood idol, and Tina Maze.

The first of her 83 wins — and counting — came one year later in Are, Sweden, on Dec. 20, 2012.

Incredibly, Shiffrin won the World Cup slalom title that season, adding two more wins before a dramatic World Cup Finals race in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. A spectacular second run overhauled a 1.17-second lead by Maze, who had a record-setting season but was left distraught after losing to a rival who turned 18 three days earlier.

Shiffrin won five season-long World Cup slalom titles in six seasons. The streak was broken after a December 2015 injury in Are during race warmups.

The inevitable first overall World Cup title came at the age of 22 in the 2016-17 season when Shiffrin won 11 races.

It was the start of three straight titles. The next season included a first downhill win in Lake Louise, Canada — in only her fourth start.

Shiffrin won a record 17 races in 2019, tallied 2,204 World Cup points — second only to Maze in skiing history — and got top-five places in all but one of her 26 events.

In January 2020, she looked set for a fourth title, taking a 370-point lead after two speed race wins in Bansko, Bulgaria. Then family tragedy struck.


Shiffrin’s mother, Eileen, has always traveled with her in an entourage of coaches and mentors. Her father, Jeff, was a familiar sight at races, readily recognizable with a bushy mustache taking photographs around the finish area.

In February 2020, Jeff Shiffrin died after an accident at the family home in Colorado.

Shiffrin flew home from Europe to begin a grieving process she has been frank and open about. After skipping several weeks of races and losing her lead in the standings, her scheduled return was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which ended the season.

A foundation to help young skiers was set up in her father’s name, the Jeff Shiffrin Athlete Resiliency Fund.

Shiffrin then won a fourth overall World Cup title last year, bouncing back from a disappointing showing at the Beijing Olympics.

She is now set to earn a fifth giant crystal globe in March with a clear lead fueled by nine victories this season following Tuesday’s win.


At 18, Shiffrin stepped on the Olympic stage like she belonged there.

A fifth-place finish in the giant slalom at the 2014 Sochi Games preceded a dominating wire-to-wire win in slalom. Shiffrin finished more than a half-second ahead of Schild, the best slalom skier in the world at the time.

Four years later in Pyeongchang, Shiffrin took gold in giant slalom a day before her fourth-place finish in slalom. She later took silver in Alpine combined, a race made up of a downhill run and a slalom run.


Shiffrin was expected to be the star of the 2022 Beijing Olympics with medal hopes in all five women’s events. What happened next was bewildering even to her.

Shiffrin skied out of the giant slalom and slalom within a few seconds of each run, did not truly contend for a medal in downhill and super-G, and failed to finish the slalom in Alpine combined.

“I’m certainly questioning a lot,” Shiffrin said after her fifth failure. “I’m really disappointed. And I’m really frustrated.”

She will still be only 30 when the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics roll around. Women’s races are scheduled for Cortina d’Ampezzo, where she won four medals at the 2021 world championships.


Shiffrin’s first worlds-level race was at the 2011 juniors in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, when she was still only 15. Racing in slalom with a cold, she placed third behind two rivals both four years older.

Starting in 2013, Shiffrin won four straight world titles in slalom. The streak ended with bronze in 2021 in Cortina, but she took home four medals from that event, including gold in Alpine combined.

The combined was her sixth world title. In total, she has 11 medals from 13 events at the worlds. The other two results were top-10 finishes in giant slalom as a teenager.

The next world championships begin on Feb. 6 in the French resorts of Courchevel and Meribel. Five more medals could be in play.


More AP skiing: https://apnews.com/hub/skiing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

From the start, Shiffrin showed she was the skier to beat