• For more information on how to avoid pop-up ads and still support SkiTalk click HERE.

Mikaela Shiffrin

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
27,161
Location
Reno
I was going to start a thread about this one article, but then I thought, we need a Mikaela Shiffrin thread.

While the article is titled Meet the Mikaela Shiffrin Nobody Sees, It made me wonder how much of the lives of these athletes we truly see.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Tricia

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
27,161
Location
Reno
Hopefully this thread will be chocked full of Mikaela by the end of the season.
:popcorn:
 

Bad Bob

I golf worse than I ski.
Skier
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Posts
5,765
Location
West of CDA South of Canada
Is it just optics or my bad eyes? Looking at the length of Mikaela's skis on the podium at Soelden, is she skiing a significantly shorter ski relative to her height?

It obviously works well for her.
 

Muleski

So much better than a pro
Inactive
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
5,243
Location
North of Boston
The skis she is holding on the podium bear no resemblance to the skis she wears in the race course. The marketing people hand her a pair of prop skis to hold in the finish area. I find this practice puzzling to say the least but that's what they do.

Yep. One factor is that the race skis go off to be measured for standheight. Then the tech grabs them and shortly goes back to work.
The podium skis are often what the ski company might want to sell. Lara Gut's podium skis aren't even a race ski. Sometimes the have just one ski, strapped to look like a pair. One ski is lighter......
All just pushing the ski brand.

The podium skis have their straps in just the right place for the camera. They are clean and perfect, and obviously very much "stock." Sometimes a pole will be strapped to the ski. Notice that both Gut and MS have one LEKI pole with them. They have goggles around their neck, logo visible. Both have sunglasses from their goggle companies. Headgear sponsor patch front and center. Glove logo very visible. And since they both have big watch contracts, they put on a very visible watch before they step to the podium.

BTW, the techs would not like champagne on the skis. Also notice that the ski length and logo placement is perfect for a close up portrait of her face. Not by accident.

It's gone on for many years, and confuses some fans every year at the start of the season.

Lets the ski company show and or hide what they want.
 
Last edited:

UGASkiDawg

AKA David
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
1,755
Location
CO
FB_IMG_1479753032772_kindlephoto-2500342.jpg

My goofy racer ran into her on the mountain at Copper yesterday.....Alex is grinning ear to ear just to Mikaelas right in this selfie she took with the Team Summit kids in Solitude! Alex is a big fan!
 

Muleski

So much better than a pro
Inactive
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
5,243
Location
North of Boston
MS and Ligety were very busy over the weekend. Instagram is full of pics! Smart of the USST to seize the opportunity to reach so many kids! Also fun with the whole NASTAR pace setting deal. All good press!

Cute pic! Get it framed!
 

Rudi Riet

AKA songfta AKA randomduck - a USSS coach, as well
SkiTalk Tester
Contributor
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
2,428
Location
Washington, DC
The podium skis are often what the ski company might want to ski. Lara Gut's podium skis aren't even a race ski. Sometimes the have just one ski, strapped to look like a pair... It's gone on for many years, and confuses some fans every year at the start of the season.

Lets the ski company show and or hide what they want.

Exactly. Often times, the race skis will sport a non-current topskin (companies won't rush to re-skin a known-fast ski), a no-longer-available binding (e.g. many Atomic men's speed skis still have the old Race 1018 on 'em), or even a fully non-brand bit of kit (e.g. Hirscher's Marker binding setup on his Atomic slalom skis). As it's all about the brand, manufacturers want to put forth the image they are selling right now - most often a consumer ski like a beer league model, or even an all-mountain ski.
 

Muleski

So much better than a pro
Inactive
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
5,243
Location
North of Boston
Nice idea to start the thread. She is a once in a generation talent {ski racing generations are about 10 years, I guess as LV is another, and 10 years older} and clearly the main face of the USST. Tremendous talent, hard, hard worker....and nice to her fans. Young girls ALL want to be the next MS! Parents think she's delightful. She's a good role model, and she should {barring injury} rewrite an awful lot of records! Fun stuff.

Good topic!

I would respectively note that while the video was fun and interesting, it too, is a PR piece. So "we" don't know any more about MS than what she, her parents {primarily her mother who is very hands on, even with the USST} her agents and sponsors want us to know, or think we know.

At least we know that she's not LV, and her social media presence is a bit different than LV's often is. Different people. And that video is very accurate in speaking of her work ethic, her focus, etc. She is a tremendous talent, and she also works harder than anybody. I have never heard differently. I have seen her do drills for hours on end, seemingly enjoying that work. I first saw her ski at about 10, and wow was she precise. Enough that old guys like me were curious as to who that little kid was. She was skiing with her mother.

To shift gears for a second, I'm hoping to see her have a great weekend at Killington. New England is as much home to her as is Vail. We'll see how it goes. One win, and another podium?

A couple significant changes have happened over the summer for her. One, she added some serious muscle mass to her frame in the last six months. Who knows if it's 10 lbs or even more. It's noticeable. I have heard on from a few people. At any rate, she is bigger and stronger. And it appears as though she might have to get her "setup" a bit more dialed in, perhaps in part to those changes. It's not a disaster, but many think it needed to be worked on after Levi.

I know that sounds odd, since she won. The field is just not that strong right now. She won last season by an average margin of 2.2 seconds in SL. She didn't look like what she can be at Levi. She did win. She didn't look perfect, and didn't nuke the field. She "normally" does things that others can't, and does crush the rest! When all is right.

The last time that she had boot issues, it was a disaster that got fixed mid season in two ways, reputedly with a LONG of finger pointing, and one really unnerved athlete. Plan A was abandoning her new boot design, and going back to the old boot and alignment. Then they went to work on a longer term solution, which actually happened quickly.

Not by coincidence, they also made a coaching change, bringing on Brandon Dyksterhouse. Dykster is a rare guy, and talent. He has a great eye, he knows how to actually coach {I know that,too, sounds odd or flip, but it is true} and he assembled a team that sure worked for MS. My sense is that he also made it fun, which worked well for MS. Results were obvious. Do not underestimate his positive influence on everything, including the equipment piece. He is not a by the book guy. Tremendous coach.

Dykster left the job after the 2016 season, pretty late. Lots of thoughts on why. I had thought that he'd stick with her through the 2018 Olympic year and at least for this year's World Champs. But, he is always in demand to do various things, and maybe the travel was too much. Dunno. And, some suggest that "the most powerful person in US Skiing", MS's mom, Elieen, may have had some disagreements with the direction of things. It happened pretty quickly, and I sense that it's framed up that they all parted on good terms. Or at least cordial terms. By "they" I mean RBD and Eileen.

It's still a big change. Dykster assembled that team. He's been replaced by Mike Day, who has a lot of coaching experience but none with a real world class woman {that I can recall}. He did coach a younger Ted Ligety. Hopefully Mike, Jeff Lackie, and the others all work well. Personality wise he and RBD are quite different. Might just be an adjustment for team S.

At this level, sometimes one wonders how much a coach matters. I her case, I think a great deal. Particularly as she has pretty much declared that she intends to race all events. That is really hard, and she needs to figure out the speed disciplines without her reduced SL focus affecting things negatively. RBD kid a lot of work to improve her GS skiing, and to start to get her ready to ski more SG.

I'm excited to see her continue to develop and grow, which sounds odd, since she is by far and away the best female SL skier ever. She's still just 21.

This will be a good weekend to follow. Best of luck to her!

This should be a fun and busy thread!!
 

4ster

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!
Instructor
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
7,155
Location
Sierra & Wasatch
Thanks @Muleski, informative background. I was surprised to see Dyksterhouse go when things seemed good
 

4ster

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!
Instructor
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
7,155
Location
Sierra & Wasatch
@Muleski I have no idea how you know everything about the ski race world that you do, but thanks for your always insightful posts! You are one of the most valuable members of this forum (IMHO at least).

Muleski's Inside Edition. :cool:

Primoz should be able to provide some goodness when things get going in Europe. :popcorn:
 

Muleski

So much better than a pro
Inactive
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
5,243
Location
North of Boston
I'm not a kid, and I'm the father of two adult now retired racers who are in the ski race business these days. My parents were racers before WWII, and my siblings and I all raced through college, then stayed involved in the sport. It is a very, very small world. It's a tiny community. So, I have friends my age who are involved, younger folks who I coached years ago and have helped and mentored who are in it, and then we have the whole coach and rep/tech world where we have friends.

So, I have high friends in low places, and low friends in high places! I need to be on the down low, to keep stuff in confidence. People talk about a lot, but having it get back to them is a non-starter. If I don't have some reasonable insight, I won't post. There are some niches of this where I am just out of the loop.

But yes, stick around long enough and the world is small. There are guys in big coaching jobs who I first met as toddlers. Same with the skiers.

BTW, when I saw MS as a little kid, she was at the Dartmouth Skiway. One of my friends has a daughter who skied with her, and played soccer with her. She had said "watch this little one...." Next time I saw her was when she won the SL at the Eastern J3 JO's....by some insane margin...maybe 12 seconds? It was just eye popping! I think it was very clear that she was one of a kind. In a WC starting gate two years later. Wow.

Primoz works on the WC, was an XC athlete I believe, then a tech, and has a lot of friends who absolutely know what's going on. Great insight! When he makes a comment, take it to the bank. He is right there.

I was very surprised by Dykster's change. As I said, everybody is very cordial about it. He's an exceptional coach, and they were just on a different plane and trajectory. It might be hard to replicate and follow. Hope not!

Hope she "kills it", at Killington!
 

S.H.

USSA Coach
Skier
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
1,795
Location
New England --> CO
I'm not a kid, and I'm the father of two adult now retired racers who are in the ski race business these days. My parents were racers before WWII, and my siblings and I all raced through college, then stayed involved in the sport. It is a very, very small world. It's a tiny community. So, I have friends my age who are involved, younger folks who I coached years ago and have helped and mentored who are in it, and then we have the whole coach and rep/tech world where we have friends.

So, I have high friends in low places, and low friends in high places! I need to be on the down low, to keep stuff in confidence. People talk about a lot, but having it get back to them is a non-starter. If I don't have some reasonable insight, I won't post. There are some niches of this where I am just out of the loop.

But yes, stick around long enough and the world is small. There are guys in big coaching jobs who I first met as toddlers. Same with the skiers.

BTW, when I saw MS as a little kid, she was at the Dartmouth Skiway. One of my friends has a daughter who skied with her, and played soccer with her. She had said "watch this little one...." Next time I saw her was when she won the SL at the Eastern J3 JO's....by some insane margin...maybe 12 seconds? It was just eye popping! I think it was very clear that she was one of a kind. In a WC starting gate two years later. Wow.

Primoz works on the WC, was an XC athlete I believe, then a tech, and has a lot of friends who absolutely know what's going on. Great insight! When he makes a comment, take it to the bank. He is right there.

I was very surprised by Dykster's change. As I said, everybody is very cordial about it. He's an exceptional coach, and they were just on a different plane and trajectory. It might be hard to replicate and follow. Hope not!

Hope she "kills it", at Killington!

Watching Mikaela while she was part of the Ford Sayre program was really impressive. Even when she was really young, you could tell how good she could be. It was incredible.

Not too surprised Dyksterhouse moved on. He's a fantastic coach, but he rubs a lot of people the wrong way and seems to have a short shelf life before people have had enough of him. The timing of the change (or at least, the timing of the announcement) was a bit surprising. I would have thought he'd stay through world champs at least.
 

Sponsor

Staff online

Top