‘We share each other’s triumphs,’ Mikaela Shiffrin says of boyfriend Kilde.
Mikaela Shiffrin remarked that being apart from her partner Aleksander Aamodt Kilde for months is difficult, but having someone with whom she can discuss every element of her personal and professional life is what makes their relationship special.
Shiffrin, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is a favorite to medal in alpine skiing at the Beijing Olympics, while Kilde is a major contender to add to Norway’s alpine skiing tally in the men’s speed events.
Kilde was healing from a severe knee injury that left him on crutches for months when the two started dating last year when Shiffrin was devastated by the tragic death of her father and Kilde was recovering from a horrific knee injury that left him on crutches for months.
“I assume he initiated the conversation by saying ‘Hi,'” Shiffrin told Reuters. “We met somewhere about seven years ago.”
“He was also the first to send a friend request. Later that year, he asked me out on a date, but I politely declined. I thought I was being cute, but he appears to have misinterpreted it.”
It took another six years for love to bloom in what had been a difficult period in both of their lives.
“He never stopped being polite and cordial but also always extremely respectful, especially considering I was in a relationship at the time and he had a few of relationships as well,” Shiffrin added.
“When I started racing again following my father’s injury last year, he got in touch with me again with a really wonderful and encouraging message to my family, and this time we just never stopped communicating.”
Schedules that aren’t forgiving
Their schedules have made their relationship more difficult. Shiffrin and Kilde compete on the world skiing circuit a lot of the time, and they’re normally thousands of miles apart.
“The worst thing is that we are frequently pulled in opposite directions, so we don’t get to be together very often,” she explained. “However, even when we are apart, we both understand each other, which makes it much easier.”
“We don’t really make an effort to separate ourselves (our private and professional lives). One of the most unique aspects is that we are able to share both.
“You can identify to the thrill of the game as well as the disappointment that comes with it on every level. It’s incredible to feel as if he’s right there on the rollercoaster with me.”
Despite the fact that they live close to each other in Yanqing’s athletes’ community, Valentine’s Day on February 14 will most likely be all about training.
“I’m probably going to do a downhill training run,” Shiffrin said. “There’s not much we can do romantically here, and both of us are entirely focused on competing.”
The men’s downhill, in which Kilde is a gold medal favorite, kicks off the tournament on Sunday, followed by the women’s giant slalom on Monday, in which Shiffrin is the defending Olympic champion.
“We share in one other’s accomplishments and failures,” she continued. “Both of us have a lot riding on our shoulders, and we have big expectations for ourselves.
“We’re both just trying to make the other feel supported while navigating this.”