Mikaela the GOAT: Has Shiffrin Already Earned the Title of U.S. Skiing’s Greatest?

Mikaela the GOAT: Has Shiffrin Already Earned the Title of U.S. Skiing’s Greatest?

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Mikaela the GOAT: Has Shiffrin Already Earned the Title of U.S. Skiing’s Greatest?

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Is Shiffrin the Greatest US Skier?

The scene Sunday in Saint Moritz | Photo: U.S. Ski and Snowboard via Twitter | Cover:
Andreaze + Stefan Brending

What was whispered last week is being said aloud after another dominant performance by Mikaela Shiffrin in this weekend’s FIS Alpine World Cup event at St. Moritz, Switzerland. The Avon, Colorado native won her 47th and 48th races more than three months before her 24th birthday, raising the question of whether or not she’s already the greatest skier in Team USA history.

The red-hot Shiffrin started off Saturday at St. Moritz with her second-consecutive (and second all-time) Super-G win, before storming right back again on Sunday for a win in the parallel slalom event.

“It was a big fight, especially in the final,” Shiffrin said. “I was really going crazy, maybe a little bit too hard. I felt like I was a bit off the course and I could see Petra always on my side going a little bit ahead…and I was thinking ‘Oh no, go faster,’” Shiffrin told U.S. Ski and Snowboard.

Vonn, who’s signaled she needs more time to recover from an injury before continuing to chase Ingemar Stenmark’s overall race win record of 86, had won 13 races before turning 24. She still leads Shiffrin in almost every win category, but the speed at which Shiffrin is racking up podiums brings up this interesting question.

Could Vonn surpassing Stenmark’s record put these questions to bed, at least for a little while, or will Shiffrin’s greater longevity (barring injury of course) be enough to put her over the top? 

GOAT Factors to Consider:

Age: Vonn- 34 / Shiffrin- 23

World Cup Debut: Vonn- 16 / Shiffrin- 15

FIS Race Wins: Vonn- 82 / Shiffrin- 48

Overall FIS Titles: Vonn- 4 /Shiffrin- 2

Olympic Medals: Vonn- 7 (2 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze) / Shiffrin- 3 (2 gold, 1 silver)

Unofficial Conclusion: It’s too early to call Shiffrin the greatest American skier of all time. But, given her success out of the gate, she looks poised to grab that title. Should (*god forbid) injury or another setback sidetrack her career, we may never have a satisfactory answer. 

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Tell us what you think. Shiffrin or Von for GOAT?

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