It’s been a big week for U.S. Ski Team superstars, Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin. Both athletes have spent the week bouncing around from photoshoots, to interviews, to award shows, representing alpine skiing on the celebrity stage.
The week kicked off for Vonn with her retirement party, celebrating her legendary career alongside friends and family with the help of her Red Bull team. Shiffrin’s week started with a cover shoot for Outside Magazine, to be released in November 2019.
“It’s nice because not all my friends and family could come up to Sweden for my final race and it gave me a chance to really celebrate with everyone, particularly P.K. [Subban] because he wasn’t able to attend because he was competing,” said Vonn. “So it was a nice celebration and one that meant a lot to me. And I was thankful that I have a lot of supporters like Red Bull that are able to throw me such an extravagant party, which just made me feel good about the way I ended my career.”
The next day, Vonn was honored at the ESPY’s with the ‘Best Moment’ award alongside fellow retirees, Miami Heat shooting guard Dwayne Wade, and the New England Patriots tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski.
The Best Moment award typically goes to a team that does exceptionally well over the course of a season, or to an event/game dubbed as remarkable within its sport. This year, the award honored three legendary athletes that retired in 2019, all of whom have left a mark on their sport and will not be forgotten by future generations.
“Going to the ESPYs is such an awesome experience because all the best athlete’s in the world are there. I’ve always admired athletes for their stories and their tenacity, there are so many amazing stories that are really motivating and uplifting and this year was no different,” said Vonn. “To have been given that award was really special. It’s nice to be recognized for my career and to be onstage with Gronk and D. Wade was pretty incredible. They are arguably top ten athletes in their sports, ever. Normally, when people retire, you don’t always get to have those special moments, you’re not always honored, it’s just over. So to be recognized one final time in front of my peers was unbelievable.”
Shiffrin attended the ESPYs as a nominee for the ‘Best Female Athlete’ award, following her record-smashing season. Not only did Shiffrin win the World Cup overall, super-G, slalom, and giant slalom titles, she also broke the alpine skiing record for most wins in a season, and achieved a long-term goal of winning in all contested alpine disciplines.
The ESPY award ended up falling in the hands of United State’s Women’s National Team captain, Alex Morgan, who had recently returned from France post-winning the USWNT’s fourth FIFA World Cup title. Although she did not win in her category, Shiffrin still had a chance to get up on the stage to present the award for ‘Best Comeback’ alongside actor and comedian, Joel McHale.
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WHAT. A. WEEK‼️???? I had so much fun in LA for the @espn #ESPYS and @nickelodeon #KidsChoiceSports Awards!! I wanted to take a moment, one more time, to reiterate how completely honored I am to have been recognized in the same category as such incredible/dominant athletes like @alexmorgan13, @simonebiles and @breannastewart30. For the little sport of ski racing (we have some work to do!) to be represented in a non-Olympic year is truly an honor in and of itself. From double sessions in the gym to the red and orange carpets, media and photo/video shoots – it was a very productive and fun week. So, THANK YOU to my team (and glam team – @jasmine.caccamo and @carenelle214), and the ESPN and Nickelodeon teams for making it possible. ???????? Back to Colorado!! ???????????? #EleganceIsAnAttitude ????: @usskiteam / @goodcompanyski
Following the ESPYs, Vonn and Shiffrin both attended the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Sports Awards. Both athletes were nominated in the ‘Need for Speed’ category alongside NASCAR racers Lewis Hamilton, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano, in addition to USA swimmer Katie Ledecky. Vonn ended up victorious, walking away from the KCSAs with her fourth orange blimp, and a bit of green slime stuck in her hair.
“My mission with my foundation is to try and empower and inspire young girls and boys and I think that it just proves that the message is getting across and they are seeing me and they’re hearing me and hopefully they didn’t just empower me with this blimp but also that they feel that I have empowered them as well,” Vonn said.
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Who knew getting slimed would be so much fun!!! Huge thanks @nickelodeon and to everyone for voting for me; always love my blimps! Thanks to my amazing team @shaunwhite @nyjah @alysaxliu @iamkelmitchell for an amazing effort… wish we could have won but @gronk ‘s team got us in the end. And thx to my best friend @vbcella for bringing her cute kiddos ❤️until next year #kidschoicesports @michaelstrahan watch it on Nick August 10th
Alpine ski racing tends to only sit in the American spotlight during Olympic years. To have two incredible women be able to stand on the national stage and represent the sport is a feat within itself and speaks to the impact Vonn and Shiffrin’s career has had in the professional sports world.
“I’ve always tried to work just as hard on the hill as I did off the hill, and I always put a lot of time and energy into trying to garner more attention to ski racing as a sport,” says Vonn. “We don’t get a lot of recognition outside of Olympic years, so I’ve always worked hard on that. I think it’s paid off, and gotten ski racing into more of the conversation than it has been in in the past. I think it’s definitely helped with people like Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso and Mikaela Shiffrin to have those kinds of people also building a name for ski racing in the United States. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to be in that position in the first place and also to use that platform to the best of my ability for myself and especially for my sport.”