Shiffrin is encouraged that the focus on American Olympic ski racing prospects will be more diffuse than it was in 2018, when attention was reserved almost exclusively for her and the now-retired Vonn. Several of Shiffrin’s American teammates had breakout performances this winter, including Paula Moltzan, 26, who placed in the top 10 of the last three World Cup slalom races of the season. Moltzan’s teammate, Nina O’Brien, 23, finished 17th in the season-long giant slalom standings.
In December, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, the son of the 1972 Olympic Alpine gold medalist Barbara Cochran, became the first American man to win a World Cup super-G in 15 years.
“The team has shown a level of depth and consistency,” Shiffrin said, “that I haven’t experienced in my career.”
Next week, Shiffrin expects to head back to her home in Colorado, changed by the past 13 months.
On Feb. 2, 2020, her father, Jeff Shiffrin, an anesthesiologist in Denver, died at 65 from what a coroner ruled a home accident, listing the cause of death as a head injury.
“My life was flipped upside down and inside out,” Shiffrin said. “And never mind me, there was a pandemic. It changes your perspective.”
Noting that she has been on the World Cup circuit for 11 seasons, Shiffrin added: “A sort of staleness could have set in, but I feel lucky to do this and to have people around me who have given so much of themselves to help me be good at it.
“And I have a sense of wanting to figure out what I want to do better. Because I want to do better.”