Feb 16, 2013; Schladming, AUSTRIA; Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) celebrates after winning the women's slalom during the FIS alpine skiing world championships in Schladming. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Kelemen/GEPA via USA TODAY Sports
DENVER - From plastic to gold.
Last week Mikaela Shiffrin made history and became the youngest woman, at just 17-years of age, to win the gold medal in the slalom at the World Championships. Not so long before that she was skiing in front of her home in Vail with her older brother.
"When we were little kids we had little plastic skis latched to our feet," Taylor said.
Even then she had tremendous potential.
"Skiing down a driveway and she showed incredible athleticism even doing that," Denver University freshman Taylor, who now races for the Pioneers, said. "Ever since then it's just been an exponential rate of increasing results."
Mikaela won her first World Cup slalom race in December of 2012, the third youngest to ever accomplish that feat. To put it in perspective, U.S. skier Lindsay Vonn didn't win her first race in the World Cup until she was 20.
She will finally become an adult and turns 18 in March, and yet she already has three World Cup wins to her name.
"I know she had the capability of doing that, but at such a young age, I was pretty impressed, along with the large majority of the world," Taylor, 20, emphasized.
The experience in the most pressure-packed of situations will only benefit Mikaela in the Winter Olympics that take place in less than a year. Her brother says she will be ready for that moment.
But, like any siblings, ones that grew up on the slopes together, they're still a little competitive.
"We do have a little joke that she hasn't beaten me yet," Taylor said.
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