skiing: my interview script with the great Mikaela Shiffrin

Jimmy Fallon: Welcome welcome to the Tonight Show. Tonight we’re so honored. This season she surpassed the great Lindsey Vonn and the legendary Ingemar Stenmark with EIGHTY-SEVEN World Cup wins to stand alone as the G.O.A.T., the greatest alpine skier of all time, our friend MIKAELA SHIFFRIN!

A group of oiled scantily-clad muscular men and women wearing ski boots raise ski poles to form an archway, through which another group carry a palanquin made out of skis, on which resides Mikaela Shiffrin. They lower it and she steps off as more acolytes toss glittering snow and a couple of goats with cowbells walk around.

Jimmy Fallon: Welcome. What a season. You were overall World Cup champion for the fifth time and you’re the winning-est ever. How are you doing? Have your feet touched the ground or are you carried everywhere?

Mikaela Shiffrin: …

Jimmy Fallon: When you equaled Ingemar Stenmark’s 86 world cup victories, you said “for me, the biggest dream is to be mentioned in the same sentence as the Swedish legend.” That’s respect. Did you read what he said about you [pulls out card]: “She’s much better than I was… She has everything. She has good physical strength, she has a good technique, strong head.” What does it mean to you, that acknowledgement from your idols?

Mikaela Shiffrin: …

Jimmy Fallon: And how strong IS your head? Is that a Swedish weightlifting thing? Why do you even wear a helmet?

Mikaela: …

Mikaela Shiffrin sits in the snow with her head down and skis off.
The greatest at the side of the slalom course at the 2022 Winter Olympics after skiing out.
©Robert F. Bukaty/AP Images

Jimmy Fallon: It feels weird, but let’s talk about failure. Some say on the biggest stage, the Winter Olympics, you choked: in 2022 you blew a turn in your two favorite events and did not finish, and your best result was 9th place. But! First, you have two gold medals and a silver from previous Olympics, come on! one of the best Olympic records of any American skier, ever! [wild applause and cheering from the audience] Second, you were the 9th best skier in the world at an Olympic event! Hey audience, raise your hand if you’re the 9th best in the world at anything!
[Camera pans around audience, very few have their hands raised, camera continues panning to the Roots (the Tonight Show house band); every musician has his hand raised.]

Jimmy Fallon: that’s fair, the Roots are the best band on TV. OK, but I meant in athletic achievement.
[Hands go down, but saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith and trumpeter Dave Guy still have their hands raised. Cut to Tonight Show announcer/sidekick Higgins, his hand is also up]

Higgins: three-legged racer with my mother, undefeated in two seasons.

Jimmy Fallon: OK, we have talented staff here… but specifically winter sports?
[Camera cuts back to the horn section, they’re now wearing ski racing helmets with sponsor stickers, ski goggles, and padded racing gloves, and their hands are still raised.]

Wow, I had no idea. Ian, Dave, we have to get you on the slopes!
My point is, 9th best is pretty damn good for mere mortals. Mikaela, if you had medalled at three Olympics in a row, would your head even fit through the studio doorway?

Mikaela Shiffrin: …

Jimmy Fallon: Do you need a relative failure like that to stoke your fires, to come back bigger and badder?

Mikaela Shiffrin: …

Jimmy Fallon: I want to take you into the multiverse for a moment. There’s a world in which you’re still a great skier, you’re beautiful, you train so hard, you’re on the USA ski team… and 9th is your best finish, ever. That’s what it’s like in this world for many of your team mates. Does that even compute? Would you still be skiing and loving it, or would you have to switch to dominating something else like the trumpet, or three-legged racing? [quick cut to Higgins with cheesy gold-painted youth race medals around his neck, furiously shaking his head “NO”]

Mikaela Shiffrin: …

Jimmy Fallon: What are your plans now this season is over?

Mikaela Shiffrin: …

Jimmy Fallon: Of course, next season [Ahhnold Schwarzenneger voice] You’ll Be Back. Do you have particular goals beyond trying to win every. single. damn. time you’re at the top of a race course? Like breaking the records for wins in other events besides your slalom specialty, or finishing a race on one ski like the great Bode Miller (check it out, folks)?

Mikaela Shiffrin: …

Jimmy Fallon: Besides your “strong head,” are there still areas you’re working on? If you could improve one thing to achieve unstoppable Terminator Mode, would it be faster, better vision/awareness, more controlled or more explosive speed, endurance, or??

Mikaela Shiffrin: …

Jimmy Fallon: So harder, better, faster, stronger. Harder, better, faster, stronger🎶🎵 [Band kicks in playing the Daft Punk song] Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger. [Jimmy and Mikaela get up to dance, the bare-skinned group who carried Mikaela return…] Ladies and gentlemen, it’s been an honor talking with the greatest alpine skier of all time, Mikaela Shiffrin!

I seriously want to see this interview:

  • I’m genuinely interested in Ms. Shiffrin’s responses, especially to the “what if you were just really good at skiing but no champion” hypothetical.
  • Jimmy Fallon and Mikaela Shiffrin already have good rapport, this won’t be a stretch for them.
  • It will be hella entertaining, and will encourage the public recognition that she needs so that she gets the Time/ESPN/Laurea sports personality of the year award instead of it going to the usual someone who chases a ball.

I’m publishing my own work under the Creative Commons’ “No Rights Reserved” CC0 license below to free it of copyright restrictions around the world. Anyone can take this and do anything with it they want without compensating me or even crediting me, including the Tonight Show writers. Come on, make it happen!

To the extent possible under law, skierpage has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to “my interview script with the great Mikaela Shiffrin.” This work is published from: United States.

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