Jeff Shiffrin, father of Mikaela Shiffrin, dies at 65

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Jeff Shiffrin, the father of Mikaela Shiffrin, died unexpectedly on Sunday night at age 65, U.S. Ski & Snowboard confirmed.

“My family is heartbroken beyond comprehension about the unexpected passing of my kindhearted, loving, caring, patient, wonderful father,” was posted on Mikaela Shiffrin’s social media. “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.”

Jeff Shiffrin, a former Alpine skier at Dartmouth who became an anesthesiologist, and wife Eileen were instrumental in the skiing development of their children: Mikaela and Taylor, a former University of Denver team member.

“As far as skiing, the only thing we pushed on the kids is that you better love it, so that you’re happy doing it, and learning is a lifelong endeavor,” Jeff said before his daughter’s first Olympics in 2014, according to NBC Olympic Research.

Eileen, a former Masters-level ski racer, has been a longtime coach of Mikaela, accompanying her throughout Europe in the winters. Jeff, an avid photographer, traveled with their daughter, too, often taking photos of her and other U.S. skiers at races.

“His contributions to all aspects of the skiing and riding world are immeasurable,” according to a U.S. Ski & Snowboard release.

Jeff, Eileen and Mikaela were together for a stretch in Europe a month ago when Mikaela was struggling with pressure. She called her holiday break from racing and time with her parents “soul-healing.”

Mikaela is expected to remain in her native Colorado for the near future. Her return date to the World Cup is unknown.