Now Olympic Slalom star Shiffrin goes head-to-head with Federer and the Swiss Davis Cup team for Laureus World Breakthrough of Year Award
American ski star Shiffrin celebrates her third straight World Cup win and looks forward to Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai on April 15
‘It is an absolutely incredible surprise and honour to be nominated, this makes me so proud’ – says Shiffrin
Last weekend the amazing Mikaela Shiffrin, the best women’s Slalom skier on the planet, won her third straight World Cup Slalom title – the first skier in 20 years to achieve the feat. Now the young American super star is looking forward to April 15 when the winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards will be revealed in Shanghai.
In an exclusive interview with Laureus.com, Shiffrin, who last year became the youngest winner of a Winter Olympics Slalom gold medal, at 18 years and 345 days, reveals that rather than another skier it is tennis legend Roger Federer who is her role model and whose example has helped her to the summit of skiing.
Now, ironically, Federer and his Swiss Davis Cup team have also been nominated along with Shiffrin for the prestigious 2015 Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award.
In the interview, Shiffrin, from Colorado, said: “I feel like Roger Federer is in a league of his own. And the Swiss Davis Cup Team is not the only one inspired by Roger. He is a class act and I use him as a role model. Every time I open my mouth and start to say something stupid to the media, a little voice in my head shouts ‘what would Roger say?’ OK, that may be an exaggeration, but really I like his style and his presence, and anyone who is inspired by him is a friend of mine.”
She said: “It is an absolutely incredible surprise and honour to be nominated for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award. This Nomination makes me so, so proud and like the gold medal from Sochi and World Championship gold medal that I won this past February in Vail, this Nomination validates the work that my team and I have put into ski racing.
“Since it’s actually voted on by other sports people instead of fan-votes, it would mean, first of all, that ski racing is viewed as one of the ‘real’ sports, and that within the world of sports I might actually be viewed as something special by the greatest sport connoisseurs of this age.”
In addition to Shiffrin and the Swiss Davis Cup team, the other Nominees for the Breakthrough Award are Marin Cilic, who won his first ever Grand Slam at the US Open, Daniel Ricciardo, who won three Grand Prix in his rookie Formula One year, Colombia’s James Rodriguez, who won the Golden Boot in the FIFA World Cup as leading scorer, and German football star Mario Götze.
In the past three seasons, Shiffrin, now 20, has achieved all there is to achieve in Alpine skiing; three World Cup victories, two World Championship titles and one Olympic gold medal. On the slopes, Shiffrin is focused on further domination of her sport, including adding another Olympic gold to her medal collection at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
“My plan is to defend my title and hopefully be in the running for a Giant Slalom gold medal and maybe some strong results in Super G too. I doubt I will be doing much in Downhill yet but I guess we will see how I progress into the speed disciplines in the next few years,” Shiffrin said.
When questioned on her standout memory of her 2014 season, Shiffrin recalls the reaction of her family to her success at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Shiffrin said: “I think one of my favourite memories was after the Slalom in Sochi, in one of the interviews, I saw a video of my Nana, and the rest of my family watching the race in Massachusetts, they were all so excited and looked like they were having so much fun, I felt a really deep connection with them at very wonderful time in my life.”