Mikaela Shiffrin Makes History with 83rd World Cup Win
American skier Mikaela Shiffrin has broken a record by winning her 83rd World Cup race on Tuesday. Mikaela Shiffrin’s giant slalom victory broke a tie on the all-time women’s list with former American teammate Lindsey Vonn, who retired four years ago due to injuries. Mikaela Shiffrin now needs only three more wins to match Ingemark Stenmark’s overall mark — between men and women — of 86 victories. Stenmark competed in the 1970s and 80s.
Shiffrin led from start to finish at the Kronplatz resort in the Italian Dolomites, crossing 0.45 seconds ahead of world champion Lara Gut-Behrami and 1.43 ahead of home favorite and former overall champion Federica Brignone. Mikaela Shiffrin posted the fastest first run and was therefore the last skier to race in the second run.
“I was a bit nervous for the second run, but mostly, I hate waiting,” Shiffrin said. “Finally, when it was time to go, then it was like everything went quiet, and I just pushed as hard as I could every turn. It was pretty amazing to come through the finish and see that I was quite fast. Because I could hear that the other athletes were skiing well. I thought, ‘I could lose this, so I better try to ski a really good run.’ And it was.”
Shiffrin seemed exhausted and relieved immediately after finishing, bending over and resting her head on her poles and then biting her lips before going over to embrace Gut-Behrami and Brignone. Brignone told Shiffrin, “Congrats,” and Shiffrin responded, “Oh my god.”
Unlike when she broke down into tears when she matched Vonn’s record of 82 wins earlier this month in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Mikaela Shiffrin kept her composure during the playing of her national anthem, singing along to the words. Then a gold-colored crown was placed atop her head.
It was Shiffrin’s ninth win of the season. What’s more is that Shiffrin is still only 27 and could have many more years of elite racing left in her career. Vonn was 33 when she won her last World Cup event and Stenmark was 32.
“I just feel so lucky to be her teammate in this era and watching her break history every day,” said Nina O’Brien, the only other American finisher in 18th. “And she’s been really supportive as well.”
The record also comes nearly a year after Shiffrin didn’t win a medal in six events at the Beijing Olympics after entering amid big expectations. She didn’t take long to rebound from her Beijing performance, claiming her fourth overall World Cup title at the end of last season. Now she’s the most successful female skier of all time.
“That’s a pretty good image for the sport, for women’s Alpine skiers,” said Tessa Worley, a two-time world champion in GS. “And she’s still doing amazing things. So it’s an inspiration for us to just go and keep pushing.”
Shiffrin had to learn how to handle the nerves that come with leading the first run. “It’s still hard for me to believe that, apparently, I have the mental focus again to be strong again in the second run,” she said.
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