Mikaela Shiffrin defended and retained her World Cup slalom title this weekend. Adding this to her Sochi Olympics gold, she's already received all the birthday gifts she could dream of--just a few days shy of her 19th birthday. Mikaela led the race from start to finish Saturday--just the way she did in Sochi only two weeks ago.
Just a year ago Shiffrin claimed this title, and knew it was the beginning of something big.
"My first win was just amazing, it was the start of all of this," she said of the 2013 slalom title. "It was finally in my mind, I felt like I could be a good ski racer at the World Cup level."
Now her name is an exceptionally well known one--at least among those who watched the Sochi Olympics, and now keep apprised of her post-Olympic races. She was definitely one of American's sweethearts during the Sochi games.
— Oakley Indonesia (@OakleyIndonesia) March 8, 2014
Mikaela Shiffrin's time on Saturday was a combined two-run time of 1 minute, 50.66 seconds. This was 0.60 ahead of Sweden's Maria Pietilae-Holmner. The only downside to all of this excitement for Mikaela is that her family and personal life definitely takes a way, way back seat to her skiing. She noted that on Saturday while at her competition, making it quite clear that she was missing her father's birthday.
— Mikaela Shiffrin (@MikaelaShiffrin) March 8, 2014
As with many of life's biggest accomplishments, Mikaela Shiffrin's passion comes with sacrifices--like giving up family time or time to have normal teenage relationships with her friends. Given her tender age, however, it seems she will one day learn how to balance it all--if she hasn't done so already.
Image via Wikimedia Commons