May 5, 2020, on

Mikaela Shiffrin didn’t want to drive home. The blizzard roaring outside her car windows wouldn’t let up. Snow pelted down as if it were angry—rebelling against something, someone. Shiffrin, riding with her mother, Eileen, thought it was a sign. A sign that she shouldn’t be in the United States. She should have been in Italy, in Cortina d’Ampezzo, competing in the World Cup Skiing Finals, but the event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The snow raged on, turning a two-hour drive from Denver to Edwards, Colorado, into an eight-hour feat. A nightmare drive to culminate a nightmare season in which the people Shiffrin loved most fell away, one by one. First, her grandmother, her “Nana,” Eileen’s mother, Pauline Condron, died in October at 98 years old. Then, in February, Mikaela’s father, Jeff, died at 65 after an accident at the family’s home. Mikaela and Eileen were in Europe when Jeff suffered a head injury but were able to return to be at his side in the hospital before he passed.

When Mikaela and Eileen finally walked into their home on this dreary day in March, Mikaela felt the strange sensation of familiarity and distance at once—occupying a place as one person and then returning to it as another. (READ FULL STORY HERE).

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