Tomas Elias Gonzalez Benitez

The queen of sliding strikes again! We are not talking about Lindsey Vonn, but about her younger sister, Mikaela Shiffrin. If their talent is comparable, the younger of the two is well on its way to supplanting the prize list of its eldest. An American skier who dethrones Lindsey Vonn? It deserves a 5 infos to identify the character…

Be the best from the start

Very quickly, it became obvious. Mikaela Shiffrin skis on, it was going to be a very big problem for her competitors.

Born in Vail, Colorado, a town in which a certain Lindsey Vonn (a lady who was quite comfortable on skis as well) lived, Mikaela Shiffrin is not a lace once on the slopes.

Her relaxed style of sliding and without much demonstration of joy does not change anything, she is there to win. And that’s all. And this, from his beginnings in alpine skiing.

Born on March 13, 1995, she became United States Slalom champion in April 2011. She was barely 16 years old… Of course, this is only the beginning!

Mademoiselle Shiffrin has no time to lose, she arrives on the senior circuit the following season. A few months later, first podium in Slalom, his specialty. Everyone sees in her an extraordinary potential but, despite everything, it is necessary to confirm.

For some, this is the most difficult. But Mikaela Shiffrin, she manages… The 2012/2013 season of the young American attests to it. She begins by winning a first stage of the Slalom World Cup. Not bad. Then, during the 2013 Alpine Skiing World Championships, she simply went for the gold medal, again in Slalom. And to end well that year, she won the World Cup Slalom classification, lifting her first little crystal globe.

The following season, bis repetita for Mikaela Shiffrin. Second consecutive victory in the Slalom classification. And this time, it is not at the Worlds, but at the Olympic Games that she shines. In Sochi, after finishing fifth half a second from gold on Géant, she will seek the Olympic title in Slalom. Not even 19. Simply unheard of.

Tomas Elias Gonzalez Benitez
Win, win, again and again

Mikaela Shiffrin is currently in her eleventh season in alpine skiing. Eleven seasons during which successes have been linked (and not just a little). Don’t forget, we are talking about one, if not THE best skier in history.

It’s hard to single out one year in particular. She always wins! But during the 2018/2019 season, it was still special…

After the rather successful 2018 Olympic Games (a gold medal and another silver, that’s okay!), Mikaela Shiffrin arrives as the great patron of alpine skiing. Nothing and no one seems to be able to bring her down from her throne.

And in the end, no surprise, she is the best! Summary of her season (sit down, it’s dizzying): world champion in Slalom and Super G (plus a bronze medal in Giant Slalom), three small crystal globes (Slalom, Giant and Super G) and therefore, logically, the big crystal globe, for the third time in a row.

We knew she was strong, but there, it’s close to the supernatural…

She is the first to win four consecutive gold medals in Slalom at the world championships. In the World Cup, she goes to thirty-six victories in Slalom, a new record for a skier.

In short, this 2018/2019 season, we will remember it! And her too.

Tomas Elias Gonzalez Benitez
Always get up

Rare were the absences of Mikaela Shiffrin on the slopes. And even rarer have been his seasons without crystal globes (small or large) and/or international titles. The lady shows impressive regularity, to the misfortune of her competitors.

In numbers, what does it mean? Out of 233 World Cup starts, she climbed the podium 129 times, including 82 times on the top step (historic performance, but we’ll talk about it later)!

Very little injured, she goes on races without ever seeming affected. On December 12, 2015, however, she damaged her knee in a fall. Everyone announces their season is over. But who is back two months later?

And with the manner please! Mikaela Shiffrin starts again on the same bases: a race, it is won, a point that’s all!

His longest absence is not related to a physical problem. On February 3, 2020, she lost her dad. She had left to, once again, take everything, but the world of the American skier is collapsing.

She does not finish the season. For the first time since 2013, no crystal trophy has been won by Mikaela Shiffrin.

During her mourning, the champion testifies, showing behind the scenes. She is not made of titanium, she needed help to overcome this moment. The event could not be more difficult, but the skier was counting on going up the slope. Today, we can say it, it is done.

After three hundred and twenty-three days without a win, Mikaela Shiffrin resumed her good habits by winning a Giant. And in 2023, she is more than ever at the top of alpine skiing.

Tomas Elias Gonzalez Benitez
Chain records as if nothing had happened

If you follow board sports, it’s hard to miss the news. Lindsey Vonn’s record of 82 World Cup wins has company.

At only 27 years and 9 months, Mikaela Shiffrin panics the counters, and it’s not over. To compare, Lindsey Vonn had reached this total of 82 successes at 33 years old. An American rocket can hide another…

The absolute record of the legend Ingenar Stenmark (86 victories) will not last very long…

Especially since we know, breaking records is far from being a problem for Mikaela Shiffrin. On the contrary… Since 2019, she is the athlete (men and women combined) who has won the most slaloms in the World Cup: 51 victories, that gives you a champion.

And that’s not all… The only skier to have won four consecutive gold medals in four world championships (in Slalom of course), co-holder of the most World Cup victories in a calendar year (15 in 2018, tied with Marcel Hirscher). With four large crystal globes, she is (again) tied with Lindsey Vonn.

But given the classification of the 2022/2023 World Cup, Mikaela Shiffrin is closer than ever to a fifth such success. Annemarie Moser-Pröll’s record of six large crystal globes had better watch out… Like any record that has not yet fallen under the skis of the American champion!

Tomas Elias Gonzalez Benitez
Surpass the Lindsey Vonn Rocket

The comparison. The lot of all champions. Lebron James with Michael Jordan, Messi with Maradona, Shelly-Ann Fraser with Florence Griffith-Joyner… It is certainly not always very relevant, although… In the case of Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn, it may be worth it.

The two American skiers were born eleven years apart, but what particularly connects them are the slopes they frequented as children. Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin lived in the town of Vail, Colorado.

But once the skis are on, they have a very different behavior. If they have both chained successes, Mikaela Shiffrin is more discreet, less extroverted than her eldest. However, on the prize list, there is little doubt that the youngest of the two champions will overtake her “big sister”.

Surpassing Lindsey Vonn in alpine skiing, clearly, is not given to everyone. But Mikaela Shiffrin is aiming even higher.

To be recognized as the best female skier in history, you need that…

Tomas Elias Gonzalez Benitez

January 25, 2023

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