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Oconomowoc native serves crucial role for Mikaela Shiffrin at Winter Olympics

Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-15 19:00:23-05

U.S. alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin is off to a dominant start in the Winter Olympics with help from an Oconomowoc native.

Lyndsay Young is an Oconomowoc High School 2006 graduate. She grew up as an elite skier making her the perfect fit as Shiffrin's physical therapist.

Inside her parents' Oconomowoc home, when Shiffrin hits the slopes the Youngs are beaming with pride screaming a different name. Their daughter Lyndsay is Shiffrin's right-hand woman inside the ropes, often getting in on the airtime.

"Her dream and her goal to make it to this Olympics with her," said Lyndsay's mother Lisa.

The Oconomowoc native has been Shiffrin's physical therapist for the past three years.

"It's a lot of work, they get up at the crack of dawn before the light comes out they're training," Lisa said.

This is Young's first appearance at the Olympic Games as a physical therapist, a job that carries plenty of pressure.

"Whether her body is bothering her or her knees are starting to ache, Lyndsay knows how to keep everything going so she can keep training and racing as she does," Lisa said.

But a Norovirus scare last weekend almost kept Young off the mountains in PyeongChang, South Korea.

"Her roommate got sick and then right away, so Lyndsay spent a day in quarantine," Lisa said. "She had to wear the mask and everything."

Thankfully Young's tests came back negative and she got right back to work.

"She'll ride up the gondola with Mikaela; it's a 45-minute ride to the top," said her father Dave.

Dave said Shiffrin and Young's inseparable bond on and off the slopes make them the perfect pair. Shiffrin even gave a shout out to Oconomowoc is a recent video of the two riding to the top of the slopes.

"Hi, we're in PyeongChang, I'm with Mikaela Shiffrin from the U.S. Ski Team, and I'm with Lyndsay Young from the Oconomowoc Ski Team," said Young and Shiffrin.

On Wednesday night, Shiffrin took home gold in her first race with Young by her side. The Youngs hope it's the first of several trips to the podium.

"It's nerve-racking and exciting because you know how much has gone into this," Dave said.