‘A Role Model For Me’: Iga Swiatek on Her Admiration For 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Mikaela Shiffrin

Published 01/03/2022, 8:05 PM EST
Tennis – WTA Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 3, 2021 Poland’s Iga Swiatek in action during her round of 16 match against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty REUTERS/Sergio Perez


Former French Open champion Iga Swiatek has always had Olympic dreams. The 20-year old Polish star always dreamt of qualifying for her own Olympic team. Thankfully, that dream came true for Swiatek in 2021 when she represented her country at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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In fact, Swiatek had admitted in an interview that winning a medal for Poland would be a career highlight. However, she was not able to go past the second round at the Olympics, falling to Spanish Paula Badosa.

Iga Swiatek developed newfound awe for Gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin

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Even though Iga Swiatek failed to achieve a podium at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, she did gain a newfound respect for another athlete. The World No. 9 truly came to respect American skier Mikaela Shiffrin.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 1 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 24, 2021. Iga Swiatek of Poland in action during her first round match against Mona Barthel of Germany . REUTERS/Mike Segar

The two-time Olympic medalist made Iga Swiatek realize just how hard it is to perform at the Olympics. Furthermore, Iga looks at Shiffrin as an idol. “She’s just a role model for me, because I know for sure that it wasn’t easy for her from the beginning,” she expressed.

Thus, Swiatek wanted to let Shiffrin know about her admiration, and penned quite the warm message to the former. “This whole Olympic experience and stuff is pretty crazy. So now I understand it more. R E S P E C T for everything that you achieved and how you did that,” Iga Swiatek wrote this message to Shiffrin.

 

According to Iga, it was after the Olympics that she understood the gravity of the Olympics. “After Tokyo, I finally understood how hard it is to compete well at the Olympics, an event which is only once every four years,” Swiatek admitted.

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Iga definitely wanted Mikaela, her idol and role model, just how much she respected her.

Surprisingly, the two sports stars have never met

Sep 4, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA. Iga Swiatek of Poland reacts after winning a game against Anett Kontaveit of Estonia (not pictured) on day six of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the two stars have openly expressed mutual respect for each other, they haven’t actually ever met in person. However, the two have conversed with each other online.

 

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Shortly before April 2021, Swiatek had admitted that it would be a dream come true for her if she were to become friends with Shiffrin. Then, in April 2021, American and Polish stars connected over an Instagram live conversation.

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Not only did they discuss the grind and hard work that goes into being an athlete on tour, but also how to find happiness. Do you think Iga Swiatek would be able to take another shot at the Gold Medal at the next Olympics?

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Samarveer Singh

253 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. He is also an automotive writer at HotCars.

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