Jeff Shiffrin, 65, — the father of superstar Olympic ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin — died after an accident at their Edwards home on Sunday, according to media reports.
Ski Racing Magazine is reporting Jeff Shiffrin was transported to a Denver-area hospital where he died in the company of Mikaela, who was taking a weekend off from World Cup action, his son Taylor and his wife Eileen. The Vail Daily is reporting the Eagle County coroner confirmed Jeff Shiffrin died from a head injury.
Mikaela’s team posted this tweet about the passing of her father:
“My family is heartbroken beyond comprehension about the unexpected passing of my kindhearted, loving, caring, patient, wonderful father. Our mountains, our ocean, our sunrise, our heart, our soul, our everything. He taught us so many valuable lessons but above everything else, he taught us the golden rule: be nice, think first. This is something I will carry with me forever. He was the firm foundation of our family and we miss him terribly. Thank you, from the depths of my heart, for respecting my family’s privacy as we grieve during this unimaginable and devastating time.”
Mikaela Shiffrin, 24, was resting and skipping speed-event races in Russia over the weekend after a tough stretch of World Cup racing that has her atop the World Cup standings and seeking what would be an American record fourth straight overall title.
Ski Racing reports her return to the circuit is uncertain, with more speed events set for this weekend in Garmisch, Germany.
Shiffrin is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the second-leading women’s ski racer of all time with 66 career victories, trailing only former Vail resident Lindsey Vonn’s 82 wins.
Jeff Shiffrin, a successful anesthesiologist, lived with his wife Eileen in the new home Mikaela built recently in Edwards, moving out of the EagleVail neighborhood after many years. The new home 15 miles west of Vail, featured on the Today Show, was billed as a sanctuary for the Shiffrins and Mikaela, who was born in Vail.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team issued the following press release:
U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the entire ski and riding community mourn the passing of Jeff Shiffrin, who passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, February 2nd.
Jeff Shiffrin with his wife Eileen made Vail, Colo., their home decades ago, and together raised two remarkable alpine ski racers and humans. Taylor Shiffrin was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team. Olympic and World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin’s skiing success is remarkable.
“I am without words today as we mourn the loss of Jeff Shiffrin,” said Tiger Shaw, CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “Jeff was a good friend and we will all miss him terribly. Our—and the entire ski world’s—thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this incredibly difficult time.”
Jeff was an anesthesiologist with Vail Health and Anesthesia Partners of Colorado, treating and helping many injured skiers and riders. He was an avid photographer, often having traveled to Mikaela’s World Cup races photographing Mikaela and other U.S. Ski Team athletes. Extremely proud of his daughter, he was rarely in a team picture on the podium because he was always behind the camera capturing the moment. His contributions to all aspects of the skiing and riding world are immeasurable.
Mikaela and Eileen returned from Europe on Sunday afternoon, and Jeff was surrounded by family and close friends during his final hours. He was 65.
Mikaela is expected to remain in Colorado, and her return to the World Cup is unknown at this time. Information regarding memorial services will be forthcoming.