Residents and guests of the Vail Valley will have the unique opportunity to honor their newest Olympic champion Friday evening, March 28, as the Vail Valley Foundation, the Town of Vail and Vail Resorts host the Mikaela Shiffrin welcome home “Gold Rush” celebration.
The free event is slated to get underway at 5 p.m. at the newly-renamed Championships Plaza in the heart of Vail Village.
On Feb. 21, the now 19-year-old Shiffrin became the youngest Slalom champion in Olympic Alpine Skiing history, with her .53 victory in Sochi over Austria’s Marlies Schild. Four days earlier, she made her Olympic debut with a fifth place showing in the Giant Slalom.
In addition to her Olympic exploits, Shiffrin recorded her fifth World Cup Slalom victory of the current season March 15 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland to wrap up her second consecutive World Cup Slalom title. Over the course of the past two winters, Shiffrin has claimed a total of nine World Cup slalom wins.
“We are truly honored to say that the Vail Valley is home to this great international champion,” explained Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation and head of the 2015 World Championships Organizing Committee. “We could not ask for a better ambassador to inspire the next generation of skiers in our community and our country.
In addition to special presentations, the Gold Rush welcome home event will also include free music, an autograph opportunity and the chance to be part of a community photo. At the conclusion of the event, all participants will be invited to join Shiffrin for a group photo that will be utilized to promote the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
“We hope that everyone will come out to welcome Mikaela home,” offered Folz. “We are obviously extremely proud of her accomplishments and look forward to even greater things to come, especially as we now look ahead to the 2015 World Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek.”
Scheduled from February 2-15 of 2015, the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek are expected to showcase athletes from over 70 nations, with an estimated 750 million worldwide television viewers and an onsite media and broadcast entourage of approximately 1,500 members.
For additional information on the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek, visit www.vailbeavercreek2015.com.