Mikaela Shiffrin is the latest American skier on the minds of fans as she seeks to live up to her hyped up role as Lindsay Vonn’s replacement. And people are wondering–does she have a boyfriend?
A German publication reported last fall that Shiffrin, 18, was dating Brennan Rubie, 23, who is also on the American ski team, though he’s not competing at the Olympics.
But she said about a month later that while she’s dated Rubie, neither has much time for romance.
“We’ve been talking for a while, just keeping in touch, and lately it’s kind of moved forward, but we don’t see each other that much,” she told Vail Beaver Creek Mag. “It would be nice to have more time to spend with him, but that’s not my path, and my priority isn’t really him, and his priority isn’t me. Our priorities are skiing.”
Shiffrin on the cover of Sports Illustrated. (Facebook/Mikaela Shiffrin)
At the same time, she’s also become distant from many of her old friends.
“A lot of my friends that I used to ski with kind of stopped skiing and went to normal public high schools, and they’re all doing really cool things, but it’s like normal really cool things,” she said. “It’s totally different than having a full-time job as a ski racer traveling around in Europe.”
“They’re having fun in their own way, and I’m doing what I do,” she added, “and I wouldn’t really trade it for the world.”
Shiffrin and blew onto the skiing scene when she got second at the World Cup when she was 16, and got the World Championship slalom gold medal a year later. She was the youngest championship, man or woman, in U.S. history.
Shiffrin competing in the giant slalom on February 18. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Shiffrin graduated from the Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont in June 2013 amid her international competitions.
Shiffrin told Team USA that she feels it’s important to connect with younger skiers, perhaps another reason she doesn’t have much time for love.
“I think it’s most important that I just try to connect with the younger kids. Most of them say they watch the World Cup races, so I think they’ve seen the skiing and it’s probably cool to see it live,” she said. “But I think the most important thing is that I get to have some time face-to-face with them and show them I’m not actually that different and that I’m a goofball. We can have conversations and they can get to this point.”
Rubie, meanwhile, has been on the U.S. Ski Team for four years, and both lives and grew up in Salt Lake City.
Rubbie at the Audi FIS World Cup in December 2012. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
His highest finish in his career was winning three North American races to start the 2013 season.