Scott: It is time to talk Olympics, and some more record-breaking news from Sochi. Yesterday, Ted Ligety won gold in the giant slalom, becoming the first American man to win two Olympic gold medals in Alpine skiing. Tomorrow, the women continue their quest in Alpine skiing. And one of those athletes is Mikaela Shiffrin. And Shelby Holliday caught up with the rising star on Team USA. Take a look.
Shelby: You have seen her in television commercials, on talk shows, and even the cover of Sports Illustrated. Eighteen-year-old skier Mikaela Shiffrin is one of the most talked about athletes in Sochi.
You are really young. There is a lot of hype surrounding you. How do you deal with it?
Mikaela Shiffrin: I guess I just try to be a teenager with it. Just have fun because it doesn’t need to be too chaotic or scary.
Shelby: So far, the chaos hasn’t seemed to phase Mikaela, who still finds time to do chores, post pictures on Instagram, and catch up with her favorite TV shows.
Mikaela: I watch Glee.
Mikaela: Yeah, that’s pretty much my big teen moment, is I’m a big fan of Glee.
Shelby: Still the ski prodigy’s life is far from normal. From a young age, Mikaela seemed destined for skiing success. She was born into a ski family and raised in the ski town of Vail, Colorado. Her parents were her first coaches. And mom Eileen, seen in P&G commercials with Mikaela, is a ski racer herself.
Were you just born that way?
Mikaela: I was born with a love for the adrenaline of going fast. But I’ve definitely built on that. I think every time I go faster, I’m comfortable with going faster.
Shelby: For high school, Mikaela attended a special ski academy in Vermont that has produced more than 40 Winter Olympians. And at age 17, she became the youngest American to ever win world cup gold. Her role model Lindsey Vonn, who is missing Sochi due to an injury, didn’t win a world cup title until age 20.
Now 18, Mikaela is competing in her first Olympics and she is the gold medal favorite in the slalom. It is lot of pressure for an 18-year-old. But if anyone can handle pressure, it is Mikaela.
What are some things you are really focusing on?
Mikaela: I’m trying to just focus on the racing because if I think about too much Olympics or media or all the hype that’s going on, it gets overwhelming. So I’m just thinking it’s just two more races and it’s going to be a really great experience.
Shelby: Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.