Mikaela Shiffrin says the appointment of Karin Harjo as her new coach can give her a “fresh and new way of thinking” as the American eyes more records.
Shiffrin went one better to 87 in Are, Sweden – Stenmark’s home country – to stand on her own out in front, but it’s clear the 28-year-old American is already looking to improve further with the hire of Harjo.
The Norwegian is renowned as one of the most innovative coaches on the circuit, and has already worked with Shiffrin as part of a wider role with the US Ski team.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Karin again, this time more directly as my new head coach,” Shiffrin said.
“For a large part of my career, I’ve gotten to work with her here and there with her positions on the women’s tech team, and then speed team in more recent years.
“I’ve witnessed her exceptional work ethic, her ability to work well with other coaches, and most importantly her connection and dedication to her athletes.
“I believe she can add a huge benefit to my program in the coming years and will provide a fresh and new way of thinking as we move forward.”
Shiffrin was – until last month – coached by Mike Day, but they split during the World Championships. Of that decision she took, Shiffrin said: “After working with Mike Day for seven seasons, I’ve decided to move forward with new leadership on my team for the next phase of my career.”
It seems Harjo will front that “new leadership”, with Shiffrin “not very worried” about getting used to working with the Norwegian.
“Karin cultivates strong team dynamics everywhere she works,” Shiffrin added.
“For sure it will be something new to get used to, but I’m not very worried about the transition since I’ve known Karin for so long and she has always been open and honest from day one.
‘The greatest World Cup skier we have ever seen!’ – Watch Shiffrin’s record-breaking run in Are
“I’m also excited to further highlight female coaches and staff within my group with Karin working alongside my mom and physio Regan [Dewhirst].”
Harjo, who has been head coach of the Canada women’s team this season, will take up her new role in April.
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