3 Times Mikaela Shiffrin Relied on Taylor Swift to Get to the Top

Published 01/11/2024, 11:45 AM EST

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via Reuters

After making her World Cup debut at the age of 16, Mikaela Shiffrin has transformed herself into one of the greatest alpine skiers of all time, and without a doubt, the most decorated one. But even before that, and all these years, she has been an ardent fangirl of Taylor Swift. And not only a fan, Shiffrin believes Swift has been a guiding light in her career, taking her from the depths of darkness to the top of podiums.

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I’ve spent 15 years studying Taylor Swift, were the musings of the alpine skiing queen who has been a Swiftie since the age of 13. Bordering on healthy obsession, she sees a matriarch in Swift who guides her through the very zeitgeist of life. Every time Shiffrin has found herself looking for ways out of turbulence, Taylor’s music has always acted as a professional lubricant, especially at the three important junctures of her legendary career.

Taylor Swift’s music salvages Shiffrin

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After winning three World Cup races and a World Championship gold medal during her high school years, Shiffrin felt overwhelmed by the attention she was garnering. However, Swift’s album, Fearless, from 2008 had her fears allayed. Shiffrin drew parallels between herself and Swift and extolled the secrets of living as a public figure.But you can see how she’s handled the attention, because she was a teenager too. She was able to hold up and work on her music“, the 28-year-old explained. She followed suit and focused on her skiing. But it wasn’t the first time Swift’s mellifluous lyrics came to her aid.

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Despite an exemplary run in the 2018 Olympics, Shiffrin went through a rough phase in 2019. As self-doubt crept into her mind, she found inspiration in Swift’s 2017 album Reputation. I related to the album because it made me feel like life is full of ebbs and flows. And that everything is probably going to be OK“. Although Shiffrin recovered her self-belief, it didn’t go that ‘OK’ for her as COVID arrived, and then the tragic death of a family member in 2020. But yet again, her inner Swiftie proved that Shiffrin can never go out of style.

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Swift propels Shiffrin to history

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor Swift released her song Epiphany in the album Folklore. Epiphany explores grief, particularly the emotional stress faced by soldiers and healthcare professionals. During the same time, in February 2020, Mikaela Shiffrin’s world turned upside down after losing her father in an accident. ‘With you, I fall down‘ reverberated in Shiffrin’s ears but ‘just one single glimpse of relief’ made her mark a stellar return later.

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“She literally addressed the most unforeseeable and horrific experience I ever have gone through”, the 28-year-old expressed. Relating with Swift’s experience of cancer warrior parents, Shiffrin found familiar grief in the lyrics of Epiphany, and two years later, she would become the winningest World Cup Skier of all time after breaking the record of 87 World Cup victories.

Watch this story:  7x Skiing World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin’s Intense Workout Routine Challenges Michael B. Jordan’s ‘Creed’ Physique

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Written by:

Zahid Rashid Dar

324Articles

One take at a time

I am an avid sports enthusiast who always seeks the thrill in the sporting avenues that serve adrenaline rush to its spectators. Hence, the nooks and crannies of the extreme sports realm such as equestrian sports, bull-riding, and the fast-paced world of rodeo hooked my attention and I became a lifelong fan. Along with this, my versatility spans from crafting insightful content on alpine skiing to exploring various facets of gymnastics.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar

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