COURCHEVEL, France: Mikaela Shiffrin has continued her utter domination of the women’s alpine skiing circuit with five victories this season, but says that she will not follow in Lindsey Vonn’s footsteps by asking to race against men.
Although a third straight overall World Cup crystal globe already looks all but a formality for Shiffrin with a 330-point lead in the standings after just 11 races, she does not have an eye on challenging the likes of Marcel Hirscher and Henrik Kristoffersen.
“It (racing men) is not one of my goals,” she told AFP on Thursday ahead of Friday’s giant slalom in Courchevel.
“I think that it’s always really fun to train with the men and I think it would be fun to compete with the men but it would be a different style of racing.
“For sure I dont see myself racing a downhill with the men or racing in a giant slalom or a slalom or a Super-G against the men.”– AFP
American great Vonn looks set to miss out on breaking Ingemar Stenmark’s all-time record of 86 World Cup wins ahead of her impending retirement, but all eyes will quickly turn to her younger compatriot Shiffrin’s own bid to make history.
The 23-year-old has already claimed 48 World Cup wins including in six different disciplines, two Olympic gold medals and three world titles in an incredible career since bursting onto the scene at the age of just 15.
“I’ve been skiing in the World Cup for eight years now, and I have been (a) success for six years,” said Shiffrin.
“Lindsey’s career doesn’t really affect what’s happening with me or how I feel.”
Shiffrin, who recently appeared in men’s magazine Maxim wearing a ski jacket among several photos of women in bikinis, thinks that sportswomen suffer from a lack of recognition for their performances, with too much attention on their physical appearance.
“Yes for sure (there is a lack of recognition for women’s performances),” she added. “You can ask many athletes and maybe they all have different opinions.
“I think it’s always a good feeling to look nice, but I’m not the prettiest woman out there. But I’m one of the fastest and I’m really proud of my accomplishments in the sport and for sure that’s one of the first things I want people to recognise.”
Shiffrin is coached by her mother Eileen, but says that the World Cup circuit is “dominated by men”.
“There are some circumstances where it is kind of a chauvinistic environment.
“For me I’m a bit protected from that because I have a team around me who (are) really professional. But for sure even my mum feels that.”
Shiffrin has not competed since winning a parallel slalom in St Moritz on December 9 after struggling with back pain, but will be a hot favourite to take her first giant slalom win of the season on Friday.- AFP