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‘Single and ready to mingle’: Mikaela Shiffrin home alone and rehabbing hard

January 22, 2016, 10:40 am
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Mikaela Shiffrin home for the holidays rehabbing hard in Eagle-Vail (Instagram photo).

I caught up with Eagle-Vail’s Mikaela Shiffrin over the holidays and wrote a piece for ESPN.com on the progress of her rehab and her goal of returning to the World Cup circuit by March.

When she injured her knee in a training run at Are, Sweden, in December, Shiffrin was just four points behind Vail’s Lindsey Vonn in the overall World Cup chase. After not racing for more than a month, Shiffrin is still 15th.

When I first talked to her in person at the Westin in Avon during a media event hosted by her main sponsor, Barilla Pasta, Shiffrin was coming off two huge wins in Aspen and was poised to compete for the overall chase.

She celebrated Aspen by heading home to Eagle-Vail and watching the Denver Broncos play the New England Patriots with her family. Born in Vail, Shiffrin split time growing up in Colorado and New England, so for football fans ahead of Sunday’s Pats-Broncos playoff rematch, here’s the most interesting part of that interview:

“I’m a Broncos fan,” Shiffrin said. “Well, I’m an everybody fan. I’m a fan of anybody who plays their sport really well. I mean, [New England’s] Tom Brady is an excellent quarterback, an excellent athlete, and I think all football players are some of the best athletes of any sport.”

Really, can you be a fan of both? Apparently if you’re an Olympic gold medalist ski racer, that is allowed.

I also asked her about her social life for People Magazine, which took a pass on the information that she’s not currently dating. Clearly she should have hung out with Taylor Swift over the break. ESPN.com also cut out reference to who she’s dating (or not) these days.

“I’m an open book,” she said at the time. “No, I’m not [dating anyone] actually. I’m not dating anyone scandalous. Yeah, I’m single and ready to mingle.”

Shiffrin, who previously was linked with fellow U.S. Ski Team member Brennan Rubie, then clarified her status in a recent email interview:

“I’m still not dating anyone,” Shiffrin said. “I’ve been asked this several times, and I always say, ‘Nope! I’m single and ready to mingle,’ which isn’t quite true. I’ve been really busy lately and I can’t imagine setting aside extra time to be in a relationship right now. However, I like meeting new people and keeping an open mind.”

She’s been busy rehabbing relentlessly, especially after Dr. Bill Sterett of Vail Summit Orthopaedics, Vonn’s previous doc, found a hairline fracture in her knee on top of deep bruising and an MCL tear.

Shiffrin told me for ESPN that she considered taking some time off and going somewhere warm but opted to stay home with family and rehab hard in order to get back by March. Her next World Cup win will be the 18th of her career at age 20, tying her with the legendary Tamara McKinney for second most by an American woman (behind Vonn’s record 73).

Vonn’s mark may grow this weekend as the women tackle speed events in Cortina, Italy, where Vonn has won a remarkable nine times.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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