As a professional sport, alpine skiing has seen some truly remarkable American athletes who defied great odds to dominate their competition. These American alpine skiers won multiple Olympic titles and international skiing contests to emerge as some of the sport’s finest athletes. But, what’s their secret formula to success?
Is it the skiing gear and apparel that they wear, such as premium Giro Union helmets? Is it their constant practice that goes on for many days and even months? Or perhaps, it’s their immense skills coupled with their insatiable desire to win and excel in their field.
We may never know the answer to all of these, but we at least know some of the sport’s most distinguished names. Here are five of the finest American alpine skiers of all time:
Mikaela Shiffrin competed for the U.S. Ski Team in the World Cup and is known for her superb performances in the giant slalom and slalom events. Shiffrin is the current world, Olympic, and World Cup champion in the slalom category. Aside from such accolades, she is also the record holder for the youngest slalom champion in the history of Alpine skiing, as well as the only athlete who has won all six disciplines in the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.
These include parallel slalom, ladies’ slalom, super-G, giant slalom, alpine combined, and downhill. With 43 World Cup slalom titles under her belt, she is likewise the most successful alpine skier in the history of the said competition.
Von is also a member of the U.S. Ski Team and has won four World Cup overall titles – in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012. Lindsey Vonn also nabbed an Olympic gold medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics when she crushed the competition in the downhill event. Likewise, Vonn dominated the World Cup’s downhill category when she won the season title for a record eight times (winning in 2008 to 2013, and then in 2015-2016).
Finally, Vonn also won five titles in the super-G event and three titles in the combined category eventually setting a record with her 82 World Cup event titles, thereby making a name as one of the most dominant alpine skiers. As Vonn’s career draws to a close, she is also considered as the American skier with the most career victories and as the greatest woman skier of all-time.
Bode Miller won the overall World Cup titles in 2005 and 2008 and has 33 World Cup race wins under his belt. Miller is also an Olympic gold medalist and is the lone skier with at least five wins in every category of the World Cup event. As if not enough, Miller is not just an Olympic gold medalist but actually has six medals in four disciplines of the said event, enough to make him the most successful American Olympic skier to date.
Mahre holds 27 World Cup victories and two Olympic gold medals. He is also the American skier with the most World Cup overall championships with his three titles, aside from landing in the top three of the World Cup standings for six straight years.
Peter Mueller holds the distinction of being the first racer to win the 1,000m category during its inaugural year at the 1976 Winter Olympics held in Innsbruck. Mueller also has a bronze medal (1976) and a silver (1977) when he competed at the World Sprint Championships. To date, Mueller is serving as a speed skating coach to new generations of skiers.
What do you think of the list above? Was your favorite American skier included or not? If you dream of becoming one of them, you need to dedicate time, patience, and determination to get better every day.