By Eun Kyung Kim
It takes nerves of steel to win World Cup, World Championship and Olympic titles like Mikaela Shiffrin. Yet, the alpine skier melted into a pool of tears after hearing from a young Swedish girl she has called her “little lucky charm.”
Shiffrin met 11-year-old Emma Lundell two years ago in Are, Switzerland, after winning her first World Cup title, NBC Sports reported. Emma was battling leukemia at the time and had asked Shiffrin for a photograph.
“That was the biggest wake up call," Shiffrin recalled for Swedish publication SPORT-Expressen, which surprised her with a video update from Emma, who is now 13 and has finished chemotherapy treatments. Emma, whose hair has grown back, says she's even healthy enough to resume cross-country skiing.
“I’m so honored that you have thought of me. To be mentioned as your lucky charm is the nicest and greatest thing ever,” she said in her message to Shiffrin, who repeatedly wiped away tears while watching.
“Wow,” Shiffrin said. “She looks so good. Oh my gosh, that makes me so happy. I wonder about her a lot actually.”
And the skier's reply to her young fan was equally moving.
"Emma, I’m so glad that you’re healthy, and that your chemo is done, and your hair is beautiful,” she said.
“I hope I see you again, maybe in Are. I think about you a lot and I’m very glad that I met you because you keep me grounded when I get arrogant. And I think about how tough it must have been for you, and I’m so glad to have met you and I wish you the best.”