Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin ranks among the most dominant athletes of the 21st century. Her 83 victories in World Cup races are the most by a woman all time, one ahead of fellow American legend Lindsey Vonn.
Recently, however, Shiffrin had slumped in major races. In three of her five runs at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Shiffrin did not finish.
Her luck turned Wednesday, however, when she captured a silver in the super-G race at the World Championships in Meribel, France. In winning her third lifetime super-G medal at a World Championship, she credited one of her elite peers for inspiring her: Lakers forward LeBron James.
She said she woke up to a news alert about James becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer hours ahead of her race.
“My news alert was [about James],” Shiffrin said. “I was thinking, ‘Wow, that’s cool for him.’ I wasn’t sure if it was a dream, though, so it’s good to know that it’s true.”
James sank a 14-foot jumper with 10 seconds left in the third quarter against the Thunder Tuesday night to pass Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record of 38,387 points, which had stood since April 5, 1984.
"It’s another example of incredible accomplishments happening in sport that will continue to drive future generations to try to reset the boundaries, reset the records, and keep pushing the level of sports, whether it’s skiing or it’s basketball or it’s anything," Shiffrin said. "It symbolizes this concept that we keep working harder and trying to do better.”
Shiffrin is coming up on a record of her own: one more World Cup race win will tie her with Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark for the most victories by a skier of any gender with 86.