Alpine sensation Mikaela Shiffrin has become the first-ever skier, male or female, to top the CHF 1 million mark in prize money during a single season ©Getty Images

Alpine sensation Mikaela Shiffrin has become the first skier – male or female – to top the CHF 1 million (£760,000/$989,000/€879,000) mark in prize money during a season.

The American earned CHF 886,386 (£674,083/$876,685/€779,202) for her memorable 2018-2019 International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Skiing World Cup campaign, which saw her grab the most victories in a season with 17.

Added to that amount is Shiffrin’s medal haul at the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre in Sweden in February, when she claimed super-G and slalom gold, and giant slalom bronze.

That gave her an additional CHF 114,000 (£87,000/$113,000/€100,000) in prize money, allowing her to break the CHF 1 million mark with CHF 1,000,386 (£760,854/$989,422/€879,414).

The next closest female skier was Slovakia’s Petra Vlhová with CHF 428,195 (£325,650/$423,480/€376,351).

Shiffrin was also the top earner across both genders, easily bettering Austria’s eight-time crystal globe winner Marcel Hirscher, who earned CHF 565,111 (£429,705/$558,900/€496,734).

It was the second consecutive season that Shiffrin had been the top earner on the men’s and women's tours, although in 2017-2018 it was a much closer contest with CHF 43,000 (£33,000/$43,000/€38,000) separating her from Hirscher.

"It’s a really cool opportunity," Shiffrin said.

"I’m extremely proud to be part of a sport where there is no gender pay gap.

"It’s great, because perhaps it will inspire future generations to take part in this sport that I love so much.

"From my perspective, equal prize money means there is a demand by the public for both men’s and women’s Alpine ski racing.

"If people want to watch and the sport has fans, that’s ultimately where the money comes from."

Mikaela Shiffrin grabbed the most victories in a season in 2018-2019, managing 17 ©Getty Images
Mikaela Shiffrin grabbed the most victories in a season in 2018-2019, managing 17 ©Getty Images

She added: "We, as athletes, have a responsibility to bring attention to this sport, to make it exciting to watch and bring edgy and fun personalities into it.

"Just like any sport, ski racing needs these personalities and a high level of competition in order to thrive, and I’m thankful to the fans for following along."

The same prize money has always applied on the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup tour. 

Traditionally, the men and women also have had around the same number of races per season, giving Shiffrin and her female competitors the chance to out-earn their male counterparts. 

World Cup organisers typically pay CHF 45,000 (£34,000/$44,000/€40,000) for a victory, with prize money going down to CHF 500 (£380/$494/€439) for 30th place.

"The International Ski Federation is leading the charge and has a long history of paying females and males the same prize money on the tour," Shiffrin said.

"This has not necessarily been the case for other sport.

"I know the US women’s national soccer team fought hard for equal pay and recently earned that. 

"Similarly, kudos to the female surfers who won the pay equity fight last fall with the World Surf League."

Shiffrin became the first athlete to win in all six FIS disciplines after her inaugural super-G victory in Lake Louise in Canada in December 2018.

At the age of 24, she has the potential to break even more records in the upcoming season.

Shiffrin has already topped the 60-win mark and is now consistently on the podium in both speed and technical events.