After making World Cup history, Mikaela Shiffrin paid tribute to Marlies Schild and challenged the next generation to surpass her.
Mikaela Shiffrin hopes her incredible FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup record will be broken after victory on the slopes of Semmering put the American top of the list of all-time women’s slalom winners.
The 23-year-old’s win on Saturday was her 36th slalom triumph, passing Marlies Raich (nee Schild), who she described as her inspiration in a video released on Facebook discussing the milestone.
Shiffrin wants to inspire the next generation of skiing stars and insisted it would be “a dream come true” if her mark was ultimately overtaken.
“[This was] a fun day,” Shiffrin said. “Apparently, seven years ago to the day was my first World Cup podium and I shared the podium with Marlies Schild and Tina Maze. I was third.
“Today I just broke the record that Marlies held for the most slalom wins. I’ve already said it, but I wasn’t chasing this record.
Marlies, a heartfelt thank you for inspiring me. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. If I can inspire any young athlete as much as you inspired me, then I’ll know I have truly done my job in this sport. #IAmYourBiggestFan
— Mikaela Shiffrin (@MikaelaShiffrin) December 29, 2018
“My first year at the World Cup I remember my coach saying: ‘Maybe if you do these things I’m telling you, you might be able to compete with Marlies – maybe.’ Just hearing those words was a dream for me.
“So getting to this point in my career it wasn’t about beating that record, I’ve always just been trying to do her justice with my slalom skiing, and sort of carry the torch if you will.
“I do think that records are made to be broken and that’s a good thing, it’s a sign of progress in the sport. So I hope some day that somebody breaks my record because maybe that means that somebody out there was as inspired by me as I was by Marlies.
“That would be just a dream come true. To whoever you are, wherever you are, keep working, it seems far, but maybe – who knows, seven years from now or whatever – you’re gonna be making one of these videos and speaking to one of the next generation of athletes coming up.”
She added a written message accompanied with the hashtag ‘IAmYourBiggestFan’ saying: “Marlies, a heartfelt thank you for inspiring me as a young ski racer.
“Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Really. If I can inspire any young athlete as much as you inspired me, then I’ll know I have truly done my job in this sport.”
As well as the slalom record, Shiffrin also became the first skier, male or female, to win 15 World Cup races in a calendar year.
She became the youngest skier to reach 50 World Cup wins earlier this month.
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) December 29, 2018