Two-time Olympic champion, seven-time World Champion and greatest skier of all time Mikaela Shiffrin was awarded an Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Award for “Best Athlete – Women’s Sports” at the annual award ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California. It was Shiffrin’s first ESPY Award.
Shiffrin has elevated women’s ski racing globally—both on and off the mountain. The Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete is coming off a record-setting season, where she reset the record for most World Cup wins, surpassing long-time record holder and Swedish ski legend Ingemar Stenmark, who held the record since 1989. Shiffrin now holds 15 globes from her 13 seasons competing, along with winning five overall FIS Crystal Globes and ten discipline titles. On top of that, her 10 discipline globes lead all active skiers and her seven slalom titles hold the all-time record for a single discipline.
Held annually, the ESPYs recognizes the top sport performances and athletes of the year. Millions of viewers tuned in to celebrate the best of the best in sport and celebrated the moments that rewrote history. Shiffrin beat out three other top athletes for the “Best Athlete – Women’s Sports” award, including U.S. Women’s National Team and Portland Thorns soccer athlete Sophia Smith, star Polish tennis player Iga Świątek and Las Vegas Aces basketball player A’ja Wilson.
“It’s such a pleasure and such an honour to be part of this event. Thank you ESPN again for putting on such a great show – it’s been so great to meet everybody,” said Shiffrin in her speech after accepting the award. “I just honestly… I have a whole stack of people that I would have to thank for literally getting me to where I am today, through failure and through success, it’s been a long journey, and it’s not over yet. But I really have to say thank you to my family, my friends, Aleks, my brother, my sister-in-law who are here tonight as well, my team and coaches.
“This season was incredible and there was a lot of talk about records… but I was thinking, why is a record actually important? I just feel like it’s not important to break records or reset records, it’s important to set the tone for the next generation and to inspire them.”
“This ESPY award is so well deserved for Mikaela,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO. “After an astonishing record-setting season, seeing her honoured at this level in front of millions tuning in at home is a perfect celebration. We are so proud of her accomplishments on and off the snow, and we know that she will only continue to impress us in seasons to come.”
Header image: Mikaela Shiffrin stands outside the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, CA., ahead of the 2023 ESPY Awards. Credit: Mike Dawson