Mikaela Shiffrin‘s dream is five gold medals at the 2018 Olympics. No Alpine skier has ever won more than three golds at one Winter Games.
It’s a daunting feat, but, as Shiffrin is trying to prove, not an impossible one.
The youngest Olympic slalom champion ever spent the nine months since Sochi starting to work toward that dream and other goals. Shiffrin, 19, already has experienced strides and struggles this season, as documented in this NBC SportsWorld profile.
Of particular note is the one skier Shiffrin emulates — Olympic men’s giant slalom champion Ted Ligety. Shiffrin prefers to study video of men’s skiers.
“I like to watch the men because I like the way they’re aggressive toward skiing fast,” Shiffrin said. “They don’t look like they’re scared of anything. Women, the smallest thing can set a girl back two seconds. Like if fog blows in. Or if there’s a little bump in the course. It just seems, girls are so wimpy, myself included. I’m shooting to be more the man mentality. I still want to be soft and smooth and elegant and feminine when I ski, but I want to have a little bit more of that mental toughness.”