One Female Skier Is The Top Earner In Her Sport, But She's Not Done Fighting For Equal Pay

"The fact that I was able to win the most prize money ... progress is being made."

While men dominate the sports world by being paid more than women, there's one sport where women are dominating instead — alpine skiing.


A new report from the International Ski Federation found that its top-earning athlete is skier Mikaela Shiffrin from Vail, Colorado. The report found that in the 2017-2018 season, all but one of the top 18 female skiers earned more than the male skiers in prize money. The federation also noted that this is the second year women have out-earned men in alpine skiing since the top 13 female skiers made the most in the 2016-2017.

When it came to actual earnings, Shiffrin earned $709,886 in prize money compared to her male counterpart, Marcel Hirscher, from Austria. Hirscher earned $676,458.

But this financial feat is still a small one when it comes to female athletes in general. Just last month, Forbes listed the 100 highest-paid athletes from 2017, and women were noticeably absent from the list. And it wasn't that long ago that five members of the U.S. women's national soccer team sent a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging gender pay discrimination within the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Upon learning the news of her being the highest paid alpine skier this year, Shiffrin told Reuters that she "is proud to be part of a sport that recognizes the achievements of women as equal to those of men."  

"To have the opportunity as a girl in racing to win as much or more prize money as her male counterparts is a testament to the sport," she said. "Of course it's a really cool thing for me but it's also goes to show how far female ski racing has come that people want to watch it and find it exciting."

Although Shiffrin is still excited about this news, it's not stopping her from acknowledging that there's still a lot more work to be done for gender pay in the sports industry.

"I think the fact that I was able to win the most prize money this year out of all athletes — male and female — means that, while there is still a big fight to eliminate gender bias in the workplace, progress is being made," she said to the Idaho Mountain Express. 

Cover image: MAURO UJETTO /


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.