Jan 29, 2014 10:00 AM by Greg Smith

Mikaela Shiffrin set to replace Vonn, not just with medals

You may not know her name now, but you will. Young Mikaela Shiffrin could be one of the biggest stars to emerge from Sochi and February, and she's doing a pretty good job juggling all the responsibilty, right before prom.

"I'm going to die," says Shiffrin. "That's what I say to myself."

Not what you'd expect to hear from your typical world class skier, but Mikaela Shiffrin isn't your typical world class skier. The 18 year-old is working toward a gold medal in Sochi while also working to finish high school.

"This is the path I've been on and I don't really know what 'normal' would be, but I think every body's different, and i like skiing, and i've excepted that there are sacrifices," says Shiffrin. "But I still get to be as normal as I want to be. I have had a lot of experiences that most teenagers haven't. I consider myself lucky."

She plays guitar to unwind, but she also may be the only teenager that uses homework the same way and likes it.

"I get to just sit down, relax, recover, but I'm still doing something, exercising my brain." says Shiffrin. "I think it's important to be able to have other things to bring you the joy."

Traveling is one of her biggest joys. She's skied in New Zealand, and Europe, but her favorite place is her hometown of Vail, Colorado."

"Colorado, I'd say they have the best skiing in the world," says Shiffrin. "I'm really excited because I do feel like my whole upbringing has prepared me for what's coming this year."

And that preparation is what she says is half of winning gold in february.

"I'm not expecting that I win, but I do think I have the capability of winning an olympic medal. I think I have the capability of winning gold," says Shiffrin. "But it just boils down to if I'm prepared, and if I ski my best, and that's the same for the other girls, so I'm just trying to control myself, and then, being the media darling, that's easy... you just do it. I'm just kidding!"

A media darling, high school student, gold medal skier, and a teen heartthrob? It's a good thing she's used to multi tasking.



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