According to a U.S. Ski and Snowboard press release, 23-year coaching veteran Karin Harjo is returning to the Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team as head coach of the winning-most alpine skier in World Cup history, Mikaela Shiffrin.
Harjo first joined the U.S. Ski Team in 2011, beginning as Head Western Region Coach until 2015. She then held a position as the assistant women’s World Cup tech coach for several years, becoming the assistant women’s World Cup speed coach until 2022. Harjo has held the role of head coach for Alpine Canada since leaving the U.S. Ski Team.
“I am beyond excited and humbled by the opportunity to work with Mikaela in this capacity. I started my World Cup coaching career working with the U.S. women’s tech team, and have always been impressed with Mikaela’s focus, resilience and dedication to the process. Her work ethic is second to none, and I’m looking forward to working with her in this next stage of her career. The thing that strikes me the most about Mikaela is that she has already achieved so much, but she still knows there’s still room for betterment. I like to think I approach my coaching career in this way, and I’m so looking forward to working together with Mikaela and the team.” -Karin Harjo
Harjo is replacing Shiffrin’s longtime coach Mike Day who, after being informed that Mikaela intended to go in a different coaching direction moving forward, left the races in the middle of the world championships. Day had been with the athlete since 2016, coaching her during a significant number of World Cup wins.
Exciting news for the Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team!
Karin Harjo is returning as head coach to Mikaela Shiffrin
Read all about it here ➡️ https://t.co/x5Hh04xPuE#stifelusalpineskiteam // @stifel
— U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team (@usskiteam) March 13, 2023
“I’m really looking forward to working with Karin again, this time more directly as my new head coach. For a large part of my career, I’ve gotten to work with her here and there with her positions on the women’s tech team and then speed team in more recent years. I’ve witnessed her exceptional work ethic, her ability to work well with other coaches, and most importantly her connection and dedication to her athletes. I believe she can add a huge benefit to my program in the coming years and will provide a fresh and new way of thinking as we move forward.” -Mikaela Shiffrin
While being Shiffrin’s head coach is definitely a huge role, Harjo is no stranger to coaching some incredibly strong athletes. According to CBC, Canadian Valerie Grenier took her first World Cup gold medal of her career and Laurence St. Germain won gold in the Alpine world championship’s Slalom race during Karin’s year as head coach.
Harjo will finish out the season as Alpine Canada’s head coach, joining Shiffrin in the spring.
Image Credit: U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team via Instagram