BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– Meet Mikaela. No not Mikaela Shiffrin. University of Colorado skier Mikaela Tommy.
“How often do you hear the comparisons to Mikaela Shiffrin because of your name, the fact you ski here in Colorado and you win a lot,” CBS4’s Eric Christensen asked Tommy.
“Maybe when I was a little younger,” said the CU senior. “There are a lot of Mikaela’s in skiing so it’s kind of funny but I feel like she’s not even in my category so it’s funny.”
While it’s unfair to compare anyone to Shiffrin, the owner of 66 world cup wins, Mikaela Tommy is doing her best to make a name for herself. She made an immediate impression of her teammates and coaches when she became the first CU women’s alpine skier to win her first 3 career races.
“Do you remember what you were thinking when she won her first 3 career races.” I asked CU ski coach Richard Rokos.
“Praise the lord,” said the Rokos. “We have someone who can do the job, that’s great always.”
Her winning ways have continued this season with 3 more giant slalom wins leaving her one shy of setting the school record.
“It’s addictive it’s like there is definitely more pressure every time,” said Tommy. “It’s also like your expectation raises so it’s kind of easier and harder at the same time because you have more expectations if you aren’t on the podium but you’re also comfortable being there and you know you can.”
Her coach expected big things out of Tommy when she arrived in Boulder. She came from the Canadian National Team where she made her World Cup debut as a wide-eyed, innocent 17-year old. Tommy spent 6 years racing the World Cup circuit ascending to 29th in the rankings but something was missing. She felt she needed more than just skiing.
“I like staying busy and keeping my mind open to new things,” said Tommy. “The best part about school for me is that I can learn new things every day. I can keep my curiosity going and when I’m skiing it feels like my therapy for sitting around in class all day.”
Call it therapy at 35 mph. It’s hard not to be impressed watching the 2-time First Team All-American blend speed with precision as she soars down the slope.
“I definitely the love the thrill of it,” said the native Canadian. “Skiing is like meditation. The feeling and flow it. I can’t feel that anywhere else on this earth. I really love doing it.”
Tommy has her sights set on winning a national title at the NCAA’s in March, then she’ll continue racing World Cup events with the hope of someday, following in her father’s footsteps and qualifying for the Olympics.