On the Road with Mikaela Shiffrin, the Olympic Gold Medalist

Many are betting that the three-time Olympic medalist Mikaela Shiffrin will become the most decorated skier of all time. The youngest athlete to reach 60 World Cup victories, she is also the first skier, male or female, to win across all six disciplines: slalom, parallel, giant slalom, super-G, downhill and alpine combined.

This ski season, Ms. Shiffrin plans to compete in approximately 28 World Cup races, a goal very few athletes have attempted. Here, the 24-year-old discusses travel, jet lag, music and the power of Mom.

Hydration is essential. While I am traveling, I drink a lot of water, often infused with juice for electrolytes. When I arrive at the destination (we always fly at night), I expose myself to light right away and try to adjust to the time zone. Exercise helps a lot so, if there is time, I’ll go to the gym. The worst thing one can do is take a nap. It just makes acclimation more difficult. At night, I might use melatonin but I need to be careful with supplements as they can make me lethargic the next day.

I like to have candles next to my bed. Right now I have a pink peony one. I also travel with a super-soft blanket that was given to me by a member of the Italian ski team. The best, of course, is having my mom with me for much of the competition season. If you can travel with family, that is home.

I have a playlist for gearing up to race and another for chilling out. My race prep includes classics like Eminem “Guts Over Fear,” featuring Sia, One Republic, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dua Lipa, Imagine Dragons, Kygo. To relax, I like uncomplicated, soulful melodies by artists like London Grammer, Italian pianist Ludovico Einaud and Olafur Arnalds, whose music sounds like symphonic lullabies.

During competition, we always try to find hotels with or close to a swimming pool. Skiing is tough on the back. Submerging myself in water — I usually float and just walk back and forth without actually swimming — is like a massage for the lymph system and great for recovery. I also play the guitar. I bring a small campfire-size one, like a ukulele, on the road.

Aside from breathing techniques, my mom’s pep talks help. Though they may not take away the fear and anxiety, her wise words — “What could really go wrong? Winning isn’t everything, Just put your best skiing out there” — get me centered. If nerves creep up on me while I’m in the hospitality tent (it can get tense waiting alongside competitors), I’ll do some free skiing before my race if there are groomed runs near the venue. The movement and seeing people enjoy the sport brings me peace.

Definitely a beach vacation. Hawaii is my happy place. Our family trips were always to Maui where we biked, hiked, windsurfed and just watched the sunset. I would also love to go to the Maldives.

Sahred From Source link Travel

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