“And I just feel like it’s not important to break records or reset records. It’s important to set the tone for the next generation, to inspire them. And the inspiration I feel just being in this room is a little bit overwhelming — I think you can probably tell.” – Mikaela Shiffrin’s acceptance speech at the 2023 ESPYs.
On Wednesday night, the Excellence in Sports Yearly Awards (ESPYs) handed out trophies to some of the best in sports. Rounding out a historic season, Mikaela Shiffrin has a new title to add to her collection: Best Athlete, Women’s Sports. This win is a first for Shiffrin, who follows in the footsteps of previous ESPYs winner and skiing legend Lindsey Vonn.
A skier has not won this category since Vonn’s second win in 2011, though winter sports, in general, more recently secured a win through snowboarder Chloe Kim in 2018. Shiffrin, Vonn, and Kim are the only winter sports athletes to win this award since it was first handed out in 1993. Shiffrin was also nominated for Best Record-Breaking Performance for her 87th World Cup victory but ultimately lost to LeBron James for breaking the NBA career scoring record.
Besides this great achievement, Shiffrin has been making headlines for her relatable response to winning this award. She was visibly stunned when her name was announced, and her expression showed that this was truly unexpected to her. Shiffrin went on to give an incredibly humble speech hoping to inspire the next generation. You can catch her reaction and acceptance speech below:
Congrats to Mikaela Shiffrin and the other winners! After her incredible record-breaking season, this win is certainly well deserved. A win for her is a win for the sport of skiing. As a fellow woman skier, her career and charisma have been nothing but inspirational. I look forward to what the next season brings for her!