As World Cup Skier Mikaela Shiffrin continues her record-setting pace and her quotes remain newsworthy it is important for young ski racers and their parents to understand the words that define a champion.
In the following set of quotes, Shiffrin refers to Bode Miller and Marlies Raich as being her idols, according to my research just idolizing another competitor does not make a champion. The Shiffrin quotes that differentiate a young competitor from a potential champion are the following:
“When I was young, I wanted to be the best skier in the world”.
“Somebody is going to come and break my record, I hope because that means maybe I have inspired someone as much as Marlies inspired me," Shiffrin said. "If I can inspire any young athlete as much as she inspired me, then I did my job in this sport."
The fact that Shiffrin, at a young age wanted to be the best in the world is a strong statement. Next and very importantly she was *inspired* by Marlies, which is different than just idolizing a former great champion. To simply idolize another athlete means that the athlete who is being idolized may end up on a pedestal and impossible to beat.
As Shiffrin’s career continues it is very possible that she may end up being the winningest ski racer of all time and one of the greatest athletes in any sport. What I observe, from these quotes is that Shiffrin is gracious, respectful and extremely competitive. If as a parent or coach your budding athlete is showing these 3 qualities, you have done your job very well. I continue to be impressed by Mikaela Shiffrin.