Shiffrin was born in Vail, Colorado, to Eileen (née Condron) and Jeff Shiffrin, both of whom were born in the northeastern United States and former ski racers.
Her father, Jeff Shiffrin, was born and raised in New Jersey, but went skiing with his family in Vermont on weekends; he attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire as an undergraduate. Eileen raced in high school in northwestern Massachusetts’ Berkshires.
In 2003, the family moved to rural New Hampshire near Lyme, where her father, an anesthesiologist, worked at Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center.
Shiffrin moved to Colorado with her father, mother, and younger brother in 2012. His father worked for five years as an engineer at Google. Her older brother Taylor was a ski instructor at Burke Mountain Academy in northern Vermont and stayed there after leaving Stowe. Shiffrin also attended middle school at Burke before moving to Colorado with her family.
Results have been excellent in major events since she was young. In March 2010, at the age of 14, she won both the slalom and GS at the Topolino Games in Italy, beating skiers from 40 different countries.
She was between four and eight years old and had won seven races by the time she began competing in Nor-Am Cup super-combined events. She first raced at a FIS-level event that winter, when she was 15 years old and met the FIS minimum age requirement of 15 years.
She won three more Nor-Am events in her next three starts, with a runner-up finish in a super-G, third place in a GS, and victory in a slalom. She then took home two Nor-Am slalom victories at Sunday River Ski Resort, Maine.
Shiffrin won a slalom bronze medal at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Crans-Montana, Switzerland a month later (having been down with a stomach sickness the day before) . In January 2015, Shiffrin named former Croatian ski racer Janica Kostelić as her idol while growing up.
On March 11, 2011, in giant slalom at Špindlerův Mlýn in the Czech Republic, Clair Shiffrin made her World Cup debut. She became the youngest American ski racer to win a national alpine crown when she won the slalom title at the US National Championships at Winter Park.
In October 2013, World Champion Lindsey Shiffrin kicked off the 2014 season in Sölden, Austria, with a career-best sixth-place finish in giant slalom, just half a second behind the podium. She scored her fifth World Cup win at Levi, Finland, improving on her third-place result from the previous year.
She was runner-up in the giant slalom at Beaver Creek, her first World Cup podium in that event. Shiffrin won a two-run slalom in Bormio, Italy on January 5 (as opposed to Zagreb, which had been scheduled due to poor snow/weather conditions).
Shiffrin, who had already won the Olympic gold in slalom in 2018, successfully defended her World Cup title at Flachau, Åre, and Lenzerheide. Shiffrin ended the year as the undisputed Olympic, World Cup, and world champion in slalom. She was one of ESPNW’s Impact
Marit Shiffrin kicked off the 2015 season in Sölden with her maiden World Cup victory in giant slalom. She had a few difficulties with slalom initially and didn’t finish in the top three in her initial three World Cup slalom events, but she prevailed at Kühtai, Zagreb.
She went on to win the slalom world cup for a second time. Shiffrin also won the World Championship in slalom, which was held in Beaver Creek, Colorado, near her hometown of Vail, United States.
Both of Shiffrin’s slalom races in Aspen last season resulted in victories by large margins, with her first event setting a new women’s slalom record margin of 3.07 seconds over the runner-up.
On December 12, 2015, Shiffrin hurt her knee during the warm-up for slalom in Åre. Shiffrin made a successful return to racing on February 15, 2016, when she took her 18th victory in Crans-Montana after recovering from an injury for two months.
She has won all five slalom races she’s started in the current season. She was injured and chose not to race in parallel slalom in Stockholm.
In October 2016, Lindsey Shiffrin opened the season with a second-place finish in huge slalom at Sölden. On November 12, she won the LinebergerLinebergerevi.
On November 26, 2016, she finished fifth in giant slalom at Killington in her World Cup debut in Vermont, but she reclaimed the top spot the next day with a win in slalom.
On December 11, Shiffrin claimed her 11th straight World Cup slalom victory in Sestriere, Italy. Shiffrin claimed her second career giant slalom win and first solo giant slalom on December 27 in Semmering, Austria.
She won her third career giant slalom and 25th World Cup career victory the next day. Shiffrin went on to win the final race at Semmering, a slalom, on December 29, 2016, making it her 26th World cup triumph and closing out her run at the ski resort.
She is the first woman to win three races in a row in technical events since Vreni Schneider’s two giant slaloms and slalom at Mellau in January 1989.
However, she missed out on tying the record of eight consecutive slalom wins held jointly by Schneider and Janica Kostelić when she did not finish the first run in Zagreb on January 3 – her first DNF in slalom since a competition at Semmering in 2012.
Shiffrin posted her best result in a speed event on January 29, when she finished fourth in the super-G at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. She claimed her maiden parallel slalom victory on January 31 in Stockholm, Sweden.
She won gold in giant slalom at the World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and silver in slalom. She captured her third consecutive gold medal in slalom at the Worlds, becoming the first woman to do so since Germany’s Christl Cranz did so at the previous Worlds in St. Moritz.
She did not compete in the first Grand Prix of the season in Sölden because she was suffering from a back problem, but she returned to competition in the opening slalom race at Levi, where she came second.
She has not yet recaptured the same degree of dominance she enjoyed on the World Cup circuit, but she has finished in the top six in every event and won the Courchevel giant slalom in December and the Flachau night slalom in January, as well as placing third in Semmering’s slalom late last month.
However, at the 2021 World Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Shiffrin emerged on top form, performing perhaps even better than expected and winning four medals, the most she has won in a single World Championship event.
After missing the entire 2017-2018 season due to her Covid-19 pandemic, which made it impossible for her to train with speed teams or perform enough speed training, she was eager to return and qualify for the World Championships. Her first time competing in a speed event in over a year came at the Super G, where she won silver.
She also finished the slalom course in style, topping all competitors to secure her third career victory at a World Cup event. She won by more than 3 seconds over Alla Travkova of Russia and all but assured her place on the U23 team for PyeongChang 2018. Her gold medal in the Alpine Combined made her the first American woman to win a medal in that event.
The following day, she successfully defended her slalom title with her second victory at the World Championships. She went on to claim gold in the downhill thanks to a strong performance by Stephany Lee, who initially took the top spot but was relegated to third after failing.
Many of the favorites in the Giant Slalom struggled, with World Cup leader Marta Bassino, two-time world champion Tessa Worley, and reigning world champion Petra Vlhova struggling in both runs while Italy’s host country favorite Federica Brignone missed the start of her first run.
Shiffrin ultimately won the silver in the Giant Slalom after narrowly finishing in first after one run, only .02 ahead of teammate Nina O’Brien and .08 ahead of Lara Gut-Behrami.
In the second go, she lost out on the gold medal after making a blunder at the top of the course; although she gained ground in the valley, it wasn’t enough to catch Gut-Behrami, who won by .02 seconds.
Austrian ski racer Katharina Liensberger improved to third, gaining just a .09 second deficit, making it the closest contested Giant Slalom in World Championship history. Shiffrin was entering her fourth consecutive world championship title race with a record four-peat on her mind.
She performed poorly in the first run, skiing into fourth with a 1.30-second deficit behind Liensberger, Vlhova, and Wendy Holdener. She was able to overtake Holdener in the second run but was beaten by Vlhova and Liensberger in the end, earning her bronze and losing her slalom crown.
Her silver medal, though, resulted in an 11th world championship medal, tying her with Anja Parson for the most medals since World War 2 and extending her record as the most decorated American alpine skier in world championship history.
Mikaela Shiffrin has had a very successful career, but her challenges are not over. She is still trying to recapture the dominance she once had on the World Cup circuit and will be competing in Pyeongchang for Team USA next month.
The journey of professional athletes can be challenging because it requires so much commitment and hard work. But what makes it worth it? We hope Mikaela continues to have success as she represents America at this year’s Winter Olympics.