Mikaela Shiffrin splits with coach Mike Day in the middle of world championships

Shiffrin's coach then left France in the middle of the world championships and flew back to the United States.

Even though she's having record-breaking season on the slopes, Mikaela Shiffrin has decided to make a big change to her team. At the Alpine Skiing World Championships in France, Shiffrin announced that she and longtime coach Mike Day have parted ways.

“After working with Mike Day for seven seasons, I’ve decided to move forward with new leadership on my team for the next phase of my career,” Shiffrin said via the Associated Press. “I want to thank Mike and acknowledge all of his work and dedication over the last several years.”

According to the Washington Post, Shiffrin had intended to move on from Day at the end of the 2023 season, but decided to let him know ahead of time so he could pursue other opportunities.

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After being told that Shiffrin would be moving on at the end of the season, Day got on a plane and left France, much to the shock of U.S. Alpine director Patrick Riml.

“Mikaela wants to do something different going forward. She wants a new challenge. And she informed Mike and Mike decided to go home,” Riml told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “It’s a shock for me that he took off. ... He left yesterday. He’s on the plane probably now.”

This change comes just a few weeks before Shiffrin is due to run her next World Cup race. Last month, she tied Lindsey Vonn's women's record of 82 World Cup wins, and now has a total of 85. If Shiffrin wins, she'll tie Ingemar Stenmark's all-time record of 86 World Cup wins. However, she won't be going it alone. Her mother, Eileen, will continue in her role as Shiffrin's lifelong ski coach, and others will help as well.

“We’ve got plenty of people here to support Mikaela and provide the training and the information she needs on race day to do her job,” Riml told the AP. “She’s got great support. ... We’ll decide together what makes the most sense moving forward.”

Shiffrin's next World Cup races are in Norway from March 3-5, then she travels to Sweden to race from March 10-11.

FILE - United States' Mikaela Shiffrin sits next to coach Mike Day, in Zagreb, Croatia, on Jan. 4, 2020. American skiing standout Mikaela Shiffrin had an unexpected parting with her longtime coach, Mike Day, during the middle of the world championships after informing him that she planned to take a new direction with her staff at the end of the season.(AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti, File)
Mikaela Shiffrin has unexpectedly split with her longtime coach Mike Day while at the world championships in France. Shiffrin is one win away from tying the all-time record for World Cup victories. (AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti, File)