Mikaela Shiffrin is 17, still in high school, and a world champion ski racer. Two weeks ago, at the World Championships in Schladming, Austria, Shiffrin came from behind to win the gold medal in the slalom, her specialty. And she’d already had three World Cup victories this season. With just two races to go in the World Cup season, Shiffrin, who grew up in the Vail area, is leading in the slalom standings, and she’s considered the favorite for the slalom gold medal at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. She spoke to Ryan Warner by phone from Austria, her home base during the race season.

[Photo: Mitchell Gunn/ESPA]

See video of Mikaela Shiffrin's victory at the World Championships in Schladming, Austria, Feb. 16, 2013.