I don’t know what level you were skiing at when you were 16 years old—I know I wasn’t anywhere near world class. That’s why I’m amazed at the speed and proficiency of
16-year-old phenom Mikaela Shiffrin of Eagle-Vail. This formidable high-schooler
finished 8th in the Aspen slalom World Cup qualifying round, becoming
the only American woman to make the second run and assuring her a spot on the
World Cup tour in Europe. And that was only her second time racing in a World
Mikaela started her skiing career in Vail, making tracks down her driveway. When her talent became obvious, she transferred to the Burke Mountain Academy
in Vermont, where she apparently took her training very seriously. Mikaela won the U.S. slalom title last April at Winter Park, becoming the youngest national
champion in U.S. Ski Team history. She’s already ranked higher than both Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso were when they entered the World Cup circuit at a similar age.
Last April, Mikaela skied at Spindleruv Mlyn in the CzechRepublic
where she started both the giant slalom and slalom, missing the final slalom
run by only five-hundredths of a second.
With the record she has amassed already, we can only imagine
what Mikaela will accomplish during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia,
as an “old pro” of 18. Keep your eye on this astonishing athlete.