New York Times News Service,
When Mikaela Shiffrin won the women’s World Cup overall title in March, she was the first American to conquer skiing’s most coveted title since 2012 — coincidentally, the year she won her first World Cup event at 17.
Shiffrin, who lives in Vail, Colorado, spends most of the year circling the globe. In summer, she trains in New Zealand and Chile; from October to March, she races across Europe, with occasional jaunts to North America. The World Cup opener in Sölden, Austria, is Oct. 28, and this season will add a big detour in February when she competes in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The following are edited excerpts from conversations with Shiffrin.
Q. Do you have favorite resorts on the racing circuit?
A. In Zagreb, Croatia, we stayed right near the biggest shopping street. We were there when the Christmas markets were still up. It’s one of the few times I make a point to get out and walk around a bit because there’s so much history. With Zagreb and Maribor, Slovenia, the hills are right on the outskirts. You’re driving through a city for 45 minutes, thinking, “There’s no way we’re going skiing anywhere near here.” Then all of a sudden you’re at a ski hill.
Q. Are there any differences between the ski cultures in the United States and Europe?
A. Yes, but then there are also different approaches to skiing within the U.S. The East Coast is generally a lot more about racing. The West has a huge all-mountain culture, with powder skiing, heli-skiing and freeskiing. The crowd at the Killington races in Vermont was incredible. It was this moment for the U.S. to show all these Europeans who think they own ski racing that we can hold our own.
Q. What is it like to be a bona fide star in the Alps?
A. In the U.S., people might recognize me at home or if I’m at a ski event; otherwise, they don’t know what’s going on. But in Austria or Italy, I…