Warner Nickerson’s More Cowbell: Team Shiffrin
Watching Mikaela Shiffrin win her second World Cup slalom and reclaim the leader bib in Croatia was amazing. I was in the finish area during the second run, standing with her mother, Eileen. It was an exciting, anxious environment. The intensity was radiating from both Eileen and Killian
Albrecht, Mikaela’s sports agent. “This is a really tough course,” Albrecht earnestly declared to Eileen and me. He was right. It was a tough set on a very demanding hill. Zagreb has a bunch of trail turns; a number of abrupt rolls and side hills; and is one of the longest slalom races on tour with a steep pitch into the finish. Not to mention, Mikaela was in a new position, leading after the first run.
Eileen’s energy was tense and a little nervous, like any mother preparing to watch their child compete. I looked at her and asked, “What will you be happy with today?” She responded by explaining how important it was for her daughter to have a solid run. She had complete disregard for the result. “I just want her to have a good run,” she said, “without getting tired at the bottom.”