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Who is Mikaela Shiffrin? A total badass, that’s who! OK, that’s not all you need to know about her. But you do need to know who she is. With the motto “Always Be Faster Than the Boys,” (she has the acronym “ABFTTB” emblazoned on her helmet and skis), Shiffrin is a Team USA alpine skier who will compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics, coming up on February 9 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
At just 22 years old, Shiffrin is slaying the competition. She has won seven of her past eight races and leads the overall World Cup standings, in addition to topping the downhill, giant slalom and slalom rankings. A native of Eagle-Vail, Colorado, she won gold in the slalom at the Sochi Games four years ago (and at age 18 became the youngest ever to do so). She’s a favorite for three gold medals in PyeongChang.
Here, she breaks from Olympics training to talk mac & cheese and other food topics with EatingWell.
How many calories do you aim for each day and what foods do you focus on?
I usually try to eat 3,000 calories. Carbs are an essential part of my meals—I can't survive without them, especially on race days, which can last 12 hours.
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What's a typical day of eating like?
Breakfast is two eggs and two pieces of toast. Or sometimes cereal (or oatmeal) and fruit. Lunch is chicken or fish, plus salad and a carb, like pasta. Dinner looks a lot like lunch for me: chicken or steak, pasta, and salad or some other vegetables.
What are your favorite snacks to pack for a day on the mountain?
I love to bring a mix of nuts and seeds—they fill me up and are easy to carry around. Dried mangoes are always a good bet too.
On a scale of 1 (hate) to 10 (love), where is cooking?
I'd say 7, when I have the time. My mom and I love cooking together. And I make a mean mac & cheese!
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Do you eat dessert every single day?
I try not to! But I really like dessert. One of my favorite things is to have something sweet at the end of dinner, like dark chocolate–covered berries.
What are you excited to eat in PyeongChang, South Korea, during the Winter Olympics [Feb. 9-25]?
I'm hoping to leave the Olympic Village (at least a little bit) and explore the local culture and food. I'd love to try authentic bulgogi [Korean grilled beef].