That Mikaela Shiffrin is emerging as America's brightest new ski-racing star is hardly shocking.
Rumblings of her being the "next big thing" started emanating from ski-racing circles two years ago, when she was only 15. How quickly she's fulfilled those expectations, however, is impressive.
At 16, she became the youngest to win a U.S. Alpine championship, a slalom title she successfully defended last year. In just her fourth World Cup start, she finished eighth, in Aspen last year. Four races later, she was on her first World Cup podium, in Lienz, Austria. She finished the season ranked 17th in slalom.