Burkies cheering for Olympic gold medal alum

EAST BURKE, Vt. (WCAX) Burke Mountain Academy is buzzing with the news of Mikaela Shiffrin's gold streak at the Olympics. Young skiers there say the Academy alum is an inspiration to all.

Back in 2010, Mikaela Shiffrin had high hopes. "I'm shooting for the 2014 Olympics. I'd like to be on the World Cup -- just be the best I can be as a skier," the BMA freshman told Channel 3.

And the Academy staff knew even then she was one to watch, as she made her World Cup debut the next year at age 15.

"Certainly Mikaela's success is unprecedented," said one BMA coach back in 2013.

The Colorado-native had dreams of Olympic gold, and at 18-years-old, she made them come true right on schedule in 2014, becoming the youngest slalom champion in Olympic history. And Wednesday, she added giant slalom gold to her medal collection.

"I was like, whoa!" said Zoe Heinrich-McMullen, a BMA eighth-grader. She calls Shiffrin a role model for herself and other up-and-coming skiers who dream of winning gold someday. "She's super hardworking. Pushed everything she wanted to do. She kind of carries the motto of BMA."

Other young skiers and riders practicing on the same slopes that Shiffrin trained on sat it's unreal to think that they're learning in the same spot as an Olympic champion. "The way she skis is just so incredible. It's just so fun to watch because no one can ski like her. She's just like -- she's amazing," said Emmy Cobb of Peacham.

"It's just cool to see her win. And since that's not her main event, it was even cooler," said Caleb Morgan of Sutton.

And everyone will be tuning in Thursday to see if Shiffrin adds another gold medal to her collection.

Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: If Mikaela were watching this, what message would you have for her?
Emmy Cobb: Win slalom!

Shiffrin is scheduled to race Thursday night in the slalom. It's her best race, and she is favored to win. If she does, she will become the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the slalom.