Amy Donaldson: American Mikaela Shiffrin skis to gold to prove miracles are not random
“Every time I put on skis, I’m always, always thinking about what I could do better,” she said. “I hope that by the time I’m done ski racing, hopefully I’ll have a long and great career of a lot of accomplishments, but also a lot of failure, because you learn more from failure than you do success. I hope I’ve changed the sport, that I was innovative, that I created a new way of skiing and pushed women’s ski racing to be faster, more athletic, and really put on a show.”
She made a mistake in her second slalom run that could have cost her the gold. And at first, she said she wished she hadn’t made that mistake.
“But that’s what makes ski racing exciting,” she said. “I do hope that I can inspire people to try and put on a show for themselves, for the crowd, and don’t be afraid to make the mistakes because you’ll learn from them.”
Just about the only time Shiffrin seems like she's a teen is when she talks about being grateful that she chose not to wear makeup for her gold medal race.
“It was either no mascara or waterproof mascara, because if I start crying. I do not want to look like a witch,” she said, smiling.
She thanked the media for laughing at her jokes and said “being funny” is one of the items on her long list of goals. And then she shifted into serious, almost magical talk about finding purpose in elite athletic competition.
Every moment of the experience teaches her, and then she passes on the lessons learned: Keep moving no matter what, don’t give up, and embrace mistakes because that may be the path that makes you a champion.
“When the time came last night, it wasn’t because I had to live up to something or because I had to win the gold,” she said. “I really wanted to ski fast. It’s been a pretty amazing ride.”
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