Mikaela Shiffrin and head coach Mike Day are now going their separate ways. The American surprisingly announces the separation during the World Cup. The mother of the 27-year-old may now play an even more important role in the US dominator's team.
When the best ski racer in the world suddenly parted ways with her head coach before her two most important races of the season, something must have happened. But what made Mikaela Shiffrin end his collaboration with Mike Day during the World Cup in France initially remained a secret. It's no big secret that it could have something to do with her mother, Eileen.
In any case, it was a surprise when Shiffrin announced before the giant slalom on Thursday and the slalom on Saturday, in which she will compete as a favorite for gold: "I have decided to enter the next phase of my team with a new lead in my team career." Subsequently, the US Ski and Snowboard Association also declared the long-standing cooperation with Day to be over.
From the American team, in which skiing queen Shiffrin maintains a kind of state within a state, it was heard that she was looking for a new challenge and therefore wanted to end the seven-year collaboration with Day after the season. Day, however, did not want to continue for so long: He is said to have drawn the line immediately and made his way home on Tuesday. Anyway: It's a bang.
Day had more or less worked as a head coach for Shiffrin since 2016. However, it is known that Shiffrin's mother Eileen is in charge - also in sporting matters. She regularly accompanies her daughter in the World Cup, especially since the death of Shiffrin's father Jeff three years ago. Former racer and US federation leader Tiger Shaw once told the New Yorker magazine: The first thing to recognize when working with Shiffrin is: "Eileen is the coach." This has led to spats with coaches before.
Apparently there have also been differences with Day in the past few days. After her spectacular departure in the combination and winning silver in the Super-G, her twelfth World Cup medal, Shiffrin had renounced the downhill and the parallel competitions in the team and on Wednesday individually. Instead, she withdrew to a training camp away from the two World Cup locations, Meribel and Courchevel.
Shiffrin is in the middle of a record season. After the Olympic Games in Beijing, where she remained without a medal, she already won eleven World Cup races this winter. Only one win is missing to reach the all-time record of Swede Ingemar Stenmark (86). Shortly before the start of the World Championships, Lena Dürr initially prevented this record from being set with her success in the second slalom race in Špindlerův Mlýn in the Czech Republic.