With high winds at the Winter Olympics postponing the men's downhill race to the same day as the women's giant slalom, headlines all around are talking about how it'll be a busy day for Alpine skiing's power couple: Mikaela Shiffrin and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.
While Shiffrin, a two-time Olympic champion, has become a well-known name worldwide, many people who aren't avid skiing fans in the U.S. probably aren't as familiar with her boyfriend.
Kilde is a Norwegian skier and is considered the man to beat in the downhill competition. He currently leads the World Cup standings in that event and was fastest during training on Friday in China.
Shiffrin told Reuters the pair first met around seven years ago, but they didn't start dating until last year - when both were going through tough times. Shiffrin was making her return to racing following the death of her father, who died in Feb. 2020 after an accident at his home in Colorado. At the same time, Kilde was recovering from a bad knee injury.
"Last year he got in touch with me again with a really nice and supportive message to my family once I started racing again after my dad's accident and this time we just never stopped chatting," Shiffrin explained to Reuters.
While the couple are able to have dinner together regularly in the athletes' village, they, like all Olympians, still have to be very careful when it comes to coronavirus.
"We are keeping the same routine as always, face-timing, talking on the phone. We try to be careful because if we get COVID then the consequences are too big," Kilde told reporters at the Olympics..
Kilde also explained that advice from Shiffrin has helped him build confidence as he looks to win his first Olympic medal.
"We talk to each other about pretty much everything. And she gives me a lot of confidence because she has such a good mindset and I also see how she kind of handles these different situations," Kilde told reporters at the Games.
When the men's downhill and women's giant slalom races begin, Kilde and Shiffrin will both be the favorites, facing massive expectations.
Shiffrin told Reuters that they both try to help the other navigate the world's expectations and the high expectations they have for themselves.
"We share in each other's successes and also disappointments," she added.