Mikaela Shiffrin Beaver Creek GS… oh what a future this wonderful 18 year young woman has in front of her! To say the reigning World Cup Slalom Champion, Sochi Olympic Slalom Gold Medallist, and just re-crowned World Cup Slalom Champion has the skiing world by the tail would be an understatement for sure, especially considering what all has occurred since the time this photo was taken back in December of 2013.
As with all prodigies, the term young merely describes the age and for Mikaela it’s no different. She is mature beyond her years. Crappy attitude, spoiled brat… nope, not here. Demons to hide, sidestep or explain… again, not here. This is pure unadulterated youth performing at the pinnacle of sport accompanied by innocent joy and yet realized potential. Look closely into the above image and notice, there is no fear. Now look even closer, do you see it, it’s there and Mikaela has “it” like every champion before her… the laser-beam focus, the steely fierce determination, the undeniable belief that she will win again and again and again.
Listen, us older folk know the world can be a cruel and nasty place, that the very next turn can spell complete and utter disaster. For Mikaela Shiffrin, however, the world stage that is her playground seemingly does not faze her; all indicators point to this kid being the real deal and likely one for the ages. So here’s wishing Mikaela a happy 19th birthday and all the best in tomorrow’s Giant Slalom in Lenzerheide, Switzerland… oh yea, did I forget to mention she just won her fifth Slalom race of the year- today!
Mom and Dad, you’ve done great; now all the rest of us get to sit-back and watch your Mikaela fly.