The end of the Sochi Olympics are in sight, and yet one of the most notable faces coming into the Games is only just now making her Olympic debut. Mikaela Shiffrin, the 18-year-old American skiing phenom, finished fifth in her first event in Sochi on Tuesday, but has higher expectations for herself for Friday in the giant slalom.
What motivates her? In part, a small sticker affixed to the back of her helmet that reads, "ABFTTB":
What's it mean? Simple: "Always Be Faster Than The Boys."
As Sports Illustrated noted, Shiffrin first saw the slogan on a poster autographed for her by three-time Olympian Heidi Voelker, who wrote it beneath her signature. Shiffrin put the acronym on her skis, and now her helmet. It's not just good racing strategy, it's good life philosophy, too.
[Photos: Olympic crush: Mikaela Shiffrin]
Helmet stickers and other outward non-uniform signifiers have become a minor story at this year's Games. Snowboarders were not permitted to wear stickers honoring the late Sarah Burke, and members of the Norwegian delegation were instructed not to wear black armbands to honor an athlete's late relative. In both cases, the IOC deemed the symbols "inappropriate."
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