Stacey Cook

Karin Harjo among few female ski coaches on World Cup level

This had to be a case of mistaken identity, Karin Harjo thought, when a little girl in the crowd asked for an autograph.

Surely she was waiting for two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin and not the U.S. women's assistant speed coach . So Harjo smiled and politely told the child that day in Killington, Vermont, "Mikaela will be coming along soon."

"But I want yours," the kid replied.

Flattering for one of the few women coaching on the World Cup circuit. Harjo's hoping to pave the way for even more women to step into a top-tier role with national teams, even if she doesn't really view herself as any sort of trendsetter in a male-dominated field....