How Did Olympic Gold Medalist Mikaela Shiffrin Meet Her Boyfriend Fellow Olympian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde?
Even if you’re not a skiing fan but have watched the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing then you probably heard the name Mikaela Shiffrin. The Alpine skier and two-time Olympic gold medalist was a favorite to win again in her first two races, the slalom and the giant slalom, but she experienced heartbreak and shock when she missed gates early and was disqualified. Shiffrin has a support system with her in Beijing which includes her boyfriend and fellow Alpine racer Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.
Here’s more on the Olympic power couple, how they met, and why they didn’t start dating until they were both going through tough times.
Who is Aleksander Aamodt Kilde?
While Shiffrin’s success in her sport has made her a household name, not as many people are familiar with her Norwegian beau.
Kilde was born on Sept. 21, 1992, in Bærum, Norway, and became a junior world champion in the giant slalom in 2013. The athlete competes in several events but mainly focuses on Super-G and downhill. Before Beijing, Kilde also participated in the 2014 Olympics Games in Sochi and the 2018 Games in PyeongChang for Norway’s Alpine skiing team. Following his events in Beijing, Kilde came away with a silver medal in the Combined and a bronze in the Super-G.
His middle name, Aamodt, is actually derived from his mother’s maiden name; he is not related to fellow Norwegian alpine racer Kjetil André Aamodt.
How Shiffrin and Kilde met
Shiffrin and Kilde first met seven years ago at a ski camp in Chile. However, they weren’t romantically linked until early 2021. They made their first public appearance together in October.
Of their first meeting Shiffrin told Reuters: “I think he started the conversation by saying ‘Hi’. He also sent the first friend request … He never ever stopped being nice and friendly but also always very respectful, especially because at some points I was in a relationship and he had a couple of relationships as well over that time frame.”
Six years later, a romantic relationship blossomed when they were both going through difficult times. Kilde was recovering from a bad knee injury and Shiffrin was returning to competition following the death of her father, who died in February 2020 after an accident at his home in Colorado.
“Last year he got in touch with me again with a really nice and supportive message to my family once I started racing again after my dad’s accident and this time we just never stopped chatting,” Shiffrin said.
The couple has to keep their distance while competing
In Beijing, the couple has been supporting each other but they, like all athletes, have to limit how much time they spend together. They do have dinner together regularly in the athletes’ village but are careful about how often they’re around each other beyond that due to the threat of getting coronavirus (COVID-19).
“We are keeping the same routine as always, face-timing, talking on the phone. We try to be careful because if we get COVID then the consequences are too big,” Kilde told reporters. “Together we can just talk about anything and it doesn’t have to be a big deal, support each other on good days and bad days. And that’s what we’re here for. That’s why you have a partner, so you can share whatever you want to share.”
They have been able to support one another by attending each other’s races and offering one another tips. Valentine’s Day happened to fall during the Olympics but Shiffrin stated that they didn’t have any romantic plans set for that day.
“Most likely (I will spend it) doing a downhill training run,” she said (via NBCOlympics.com). “There’s not a lot we can really do here romantically and for both of us our focus is completely on competing.”