Last weekend Mikaela Shiffrin stood alone in more ways than one.
The American Alpine ski legend’s march towards history reached its inevitable conclusion in Are, Sweden when she won the slalom Saturday. It was her 87th World Cup win, breaking the tie she briefly held with Ingemar Stenmark. No man or woman can claim more World Cup wins than Shiffrin, who could easily put the record in triple digits before her career is done. She turned 28-years-old on March 13. Nice birthday present to herself.
“Pretty hard to comprehend,” she said after the win.
Or not, considering it was her sixth slalom win of the season, and record-extending 53rd overall. She also has a record-tying 20 giant slalom wins.
Her latest achievements are more remarkable considering less than a month ago her coach Mike Day left Team Shiffrin during the second week of the World Championships.
While any coach would love to work with Shiffrin, she’s no longer taking applications. That job has been filled.
Karin Harjo, Team Canada’s Alpine women’s ski team coach, has been recruited to join Shiffrin. U.S. Ski and Snowboard confirmed the hiring of Harjo, and said she will join Shiffrin in April.
“I’ve witnessed her exceptional work ethic, her ability to work well with other coaches, and most importantly her connection and dedication to her athletes,” Shiffrin said in a statement.
“I believe she can add a huge benefit to my program in the coming hears and will provide a fresh and new way of thinking as we move forward.”
The Norwegian was the first female head coach of a Canadian Alpine ski team, and the women’s team thrived under her tutelage.
After being shut out of a medal in Beijing 2022, despite being favored for gold in at least three of the six events she competed in, the two-time Olympic gold medal winner is planning to compete in Milano Cortina 2026.
Who knows how many World Cup wins she’ll have by then?
“It’s not over yet, which is even more ridiculous,” she said from the podium in Sweden.
Harjo and Team Shiffrin are ready to get to work.