Mikaela Shiffrin says she considered retiring after father’s passing

(Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Mikaela Shiffrin stopped by the Today Show on Thursday to discuss her journey to the Beijing Winter Olympics, revealing that she considered walking away from competitive skiing after the death of her father last year.

“Dealing with the unexpected death of my dad was the most difficult thing I’ve ever survived,” she said.

“I wondered if it was really worth it. There was a really long time that I didn’t really feel like it was worth it to care about anything. It seemed like, ‘I’m not gonna go ski race again’ because the most fundamental thing of an athlete is that you have to care about your sport. And you have to care about doing well at your sport, and I just didn’t.”

Shiffrin added that it was hard for her to care about anything in life at that point. Her father, Jeff, died at age 65 after an accident at their home in Colorado last February.

“It’s been a long process to get that motivation and the feeling of caring back,” she said. “A lot more good days than bad now, but it’s still difficult.”

Shiffrin has been vocal in recent weeks about what she wants to accomplish in Beijing in February, saying she is looking to compete in at least five events, maybe six. She opened the World Cup season on Saturday with a win in the giant slalom in Soelden, Austraia, becoming the third skier to reach 70 career victories.

On Thursday, Shiffrin called that win “the first checkmark” on her journey to competing in every event at the Winter Games.