Mikaela Shiffrin Opens Up About Resiliency and the Future of Women's Sports: 'You Just Keep Going' (Exclusive)

PEOPLE can exclusively share clips from the most-winning alpine skier in history's interview with Norah O'Donnell

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Now the most-winning World Cup alpine skier in history, Mikaela Shiffrin is taking a moment to reflect on her career and where women's athletics can go.

In a clip exclusively shared with PEOPLE, the champion skier opens up about overcoming roadblocks in her career and the future of women's athletics.

Shiffrin, 28, sat down with CBS' Norah O'Donnell, who asked her about recent comments made by Lindsey Vonn.

"I want to ask you because Lindsey Vonn wrote about you saying, 'With Serena Williams stepping away from tennis, there's room for another big female global sports superstar and Mikaela can fill that opportunity.' That's a big role. Mikaela, are you ready for it?"

In her response, Shiffrin says, "That's a big role. I don't feel that any one person can fill those shoes. I certainly cannot fill those shoes."

However, the Olympian said she's excited about the trajectory of women's sports because of the "incredible number of female sports stars" who have the opportunity to fill "those shoes."

Related: Mikaela Shiffrin Is Shocked by Her Record-Breaking 87 Wins: 'I Didn't Believe It Was Possible'

"I also feel like there's an incredible number of female sports stars who are able to carry that opportunity together," Shiffrin said. "There are so many who are willing to and are stepping up to the plate. And that's actually kind of what we need. We don't need one individual female sports star who takes over the planet. We need a lot of women doing sports really, really well. And that's what we're starting to truly get. So it's incredibly flattering but I more see it as maybe more of a group effort than I ever did before."

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

In a second clip exclusively shared with PEOPLE, Shiffrin opens up about the challenges she's faced in her career and how she's overcome them to become the most-winning alpine skier in history.

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Shiffrin says, "For me, it's kind of the greatest lesson in life because it's sort of lessons of what you can face throughout life." She references recurring injuries, losing family members (her father, Jeff, died in Feb. 2020) and "the loneliness" she faced during the pandemic years.

"I've had injuries that feel like more of a chronic thing," she explained. "I've had acute knee injuries. And then and then I've dealt with loss and in our family and tragedy on that level. And you know, racing through the COVID years, traveling the world and the loneliness you feel. You just keep going."

Related: Mikaela Shiffrin Gets Support from Simone Biles Amid Olympic Struggles: 'Not Always Easy'

Shiffrin knows that having a positive attitude is easier said than done, but she reminds herself that "not every day in life is going to be perfect" and that "most people struggle more than they win."

Her personal journey is no different, Shiffrin explains in the clip.

"Even with me, we talk a lot about the records and everything that I achieved through my career and everything that came to fruition this season specifically. And it's easy to think that it's all been good, but I've raced far more races than I've won. Far more races have been disappointing throughout my entire career and people do struggle on a daily basis."

Shiffrin adds, "You struggle every day and you find a way to be resilient through that and keep going back and keep, you know, attacking your problem on a different level or just finding ways to find solutions. Humans are so resilient."

The full interview will air on Person to Person with Norah O’Donnell on Thursday, May 25 at 9:30 PM, ET on the CBS News Streaming Network.

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Read the original article on People.