“The Cutting Edge”: An Olympic Love Story — Look Back!
Whoever declared that time heals all wounds, Mikaela Shiffrin would like a word.
Because two years after the most decorated alpine skier in U.S. history lost her father Jeff Shriffin—the man who dutifully cheered her name and wiped away tears of pride through her last two Olympics appearances—the pain still feels pretty raw.
“It’s taken so long just to get to this point,” she recently confessed to People. “I’m not even close to being done grieving, but every day I feel that spark and motivation returning. It’s like healing from an injury. You get to the point where you can race again, but it still hurts sometimes.”
In fact, there are moments where it’s hard to believe any time has passed. “It can’t be two years. Just can’t be,” she wrote in a Feb. 2 tribute marking the second anniversary of his death. “Just miss you with all of my mangled little heart. Just wish you could come back home. Just… love you most.”
But the fact that Mikaela posted that missive from China, where she will begin her pursuit for up to five more medals starting Feb. 7 at the 2022 Beijing Olympics—means that the passage of time at least softens the hurt.
Because in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 accident that cut her father’s life short at the age of 65, the 26-year-old—who first sped onto the scene at the 2014 Sochi Olympics as the youngest-ever slalom champion before collecting another gold and silver for the giant slalom and alpine combined in Pyeongchang, South Korea—wasn’t sure she’d ever feel at home again in the starting gate.