About the Campaign
1: the ability of something to return to its original size and shape after being compressed or deformed
2: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change
Why is it called the "Jeff Shiffrin Athlete Resiliency Fund"?
The name Mikaela Shiffrin has become known in households across America and around the world over the last several years. At just 25 years old, the skiing phenomenon that Olympic and World Championship gold medalist Bode Miller has called a ‘once-in-a-century type athlete’, is already a two-time Olympic Gold medalist and a 66-time World Cup victor. She was featured on the March 2020 cover of Sports Illustrated, which has named her the world’s most dominant athlete. Anyone who has seen her ski knows they are watching history in the making, and it’s thrilling. But the power that is Mikaela Shiffrin—the speed, the precision, the focus, the resiliency – reflects the values and discipline instilled in her by her parents from a very young age. In 2020, it is the gift of resiliency that has taken center stage.
On February 2, 2020, following a tragic accident at the family home, Dr. Jeffrey Scott Shiffrin—known to his family and friends as Jeff—passed away with his family by his side. Like so many fathers, Jeff was the foundation of the family and his absence is felt deeply by them every day. As Mikaela said, he was “our mountains, our ocean, our sunrise, our heart, our soul, our everything. He taught us so many valuable lessons...but above everything else, he taught us the golden rule: be nice, think first.” He has also left a strong legacy behind in his two children, Mikaela and Taylor, and in the many lives he touched throughout his journey as a doctor, husband, father, friend, and mentor. Raised in Dover, New Jersey, Jeff often spent weekends with his family at Stratton or Sugarbush in southern Vermont. At age 13, he joined the race team at Great Gorge Ski Resort (now Mountain Creek). He later raced on the Dartmouth ski team and remained active in the sport all his life, oftentimes seen with his camera around his neck on the side of the mountain, or in the finish area.
Honoring Jeff’s Legacy
In honor of Jeff’s life and legacy, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is proud to announce the launch of the Jeff Shiffrin Athlete Resiliency Fund campaign. The Shiffrin family believes that great goals can be achieved through hard work, discipline, and resiliency. Recognizing our deep need to remain resilient during these difficult times, several longtime donors have presented U.S. Ski & Snowboard with an incredible donation and a matching gift opportunity. U.S. Ski & Snowboard is deeply grateful to the following donors that have committed more than $1.5 million to launch the Jeff Shiffrin Athlete Resiliency Fund:
The donors, in tandem with the Shiffrin family (Mikaela, Eileen, and Taylor), chose to name the campaign in honor of Jeff with the Shiffrin family’s blessing and support as a way for Jeff to have another big impact on the world, and on the sports he loved. To maximize the impact of their giving and generosity, the donors have issued a $1.5 million matching gift challenge to all U.S. Ski & Snowboard supporters and the general public. When fully funded, the $3 million Jeff Shiffrin Athlete Resiliency Fund will help U.S. Ski & Snowboard recover from, or adjust easily to, adversity or changes over the next two years due to the ongoing global pandemic. We will be able to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of all our 170 athletes across all our sports disciplines in an effort to help fuel their Olympic dreams and keep the flame alive en route to Beijing 2022.
"So many people, particularly in our society, get focused on the result—the end game—and I think that's the wrong process. It's about the dance with the hill. It's the feeling...if there are five magical turns in one five minute run, I'm kinda like, 'I want to go back up and do that again!'"
—Jeff Shiffrin, on his philosophy of focusing on the journey and not merely the destination.