Mikaela Shiffrin is no longer working with her head coach, Mike Day, she announced during the world Alpine skiing championships.
“After working with Mike Day for seven seasons, I’ve decided to move forward with new leadership on my team for the next phase of my career,” Shiffrin said in a statement through her publicist on Tuesday. “I want to thank Mike and acknowledge all of his work and dedication over the last several years.”
Shiffrin had told Day that she planned to take a new direction with her staff at the end of the season, and Day decided to leave immediately, Shiffrin’s publicist said.
A message was sent to Day seeking comment.
“Mikaela wants to do something different going forward. She wants a new challenge. And she informed Mike and Mike decided to go home,” U.S. Alpine director Patrick Riml said, according to The Associated Press. “It’s a shock for me that he took off.”
Day is no longer working for U.S. Ski and Snowboard in any capacity, an Alpine team press contact said.
“Shiffrin will be moving forward with new coaching, and will continue to be supported closely by the Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team coaches for the remainder of the season and in the future,” according to a U.S. Ski and Snowboard statement. “The team thanks Mike Day for his work and great success over the last seven years.”
SkiRacing.com first reported the news.
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After serving as men’s technical head coach from 2010-13, Day rejoined U.S. Ski and Snowboard in 2016 as women’s technical head coach, working specifically with Shiffrin.
He was listed as team Shiffrin head coach when this season’s U.S. Alpine staff was announced in October with Mark Mitter also listed as a coach. Shiffrin’s mom, Eileen, was her first coach and still accompanies her on the World Cup.
Shiffrin and Day’s partnership ceased midway through the world championships: two days before she’s scheduled to race the giant slalom and four days before the slalom in Meribel, France.
Last week, Shiffrin appeared en route to a gold medal in the combined until she skied out three gates from the finish of an aggressive slalom run, taking extra risk to chase down Italian Federica Brignone, who was fastest in the super-G run of the event.
Two days later, she earned silver behind Italian Marta Bassino in the super-G, which is Shiffrin’s fourth-best discipline behind slalom, giant slalom and combined (though combined is no longer contested on the World Cup).
At age 27, she earned a 12th career individual world championships medal, tying retired Norwegian Kjetil Andre Aamodt for the most since World War II.
This fall and winter, Shiffrin put up her best World Cup season in four years, winning a circuit-leading 11 times to reach 85 career World Cup victories, one shy of the record held by Swede Ingemar Stenmark, a slalom and giant slalom star of the 1970s and ’80s.
The World Cup season resumes after the world championships next week.
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