Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin wins final slalom for best career season (video)

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Mikaela Shiffrin won her 12th World Cup race this season and seventh slalom, both personal bests, at the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden, on Saturday.

Shiffrin, who clinched her second World Cup overall title and fifth slalom season title before the last races of the campaign this weekend, prevailed by 1.58 seconds over Swiss Wendy Holdener. PyeongChang gold medalist Frida Hansdotter of Sweden was third.

“The slalom has always been really close to my heart,” said Shiffrin, who won the last two slaloms this season after a shocking fourth-place finish in PyeongChang. “To finish with a run like that was super special.”

Full results are here.

Shiffrin matched Lindsey Vonn‘s American record for World Cup wins in one season — 12 — with one more race Sunday. Only Swiss Vreni Schneider has more women’s World Cup wins in a single campaign with 14.

Shiffrin, who turned 23 on Tuesday, also moved into solo fifth place on the women’s World Cup wins list with 43, including 23 victories in the last two seasons.

If Shiffrin keeps it up, she can move into the top three next season, though Lindsey Vonn‘s record 82 is a ways off.

“I’m not thinking about that so much,” Shiffrin said. “It’s way too soon to set that as my goal.”

Shiffrin is also three World Cup slalom wins shy of the record 35 held by retired Austrian Marlies Schild, whom Shiffrin supplanted as the world’s top slalom skier in 2013.

The World Cup Finals conclude Sunday with the women’s giant slalom. Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will air live coverage of the second run at 7:30 a.m. ET.

“After today I’m really looking forward to going to the start one more time this season and hammering down,” Shiffrin said.

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MORE: Lindsey Vonn’s Olympic legacy

Mikaela Shiffrin’s emotional video to Paralympic skier Thomas Walsh

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As Thomas Walsh underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and pelvic resection treatments, childhood friend Mikaela Shiffrin frequented his hospital bedside.

When he was 14 in 2009, Walsh was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer in his pelvis and lungs.

The Vail, Colo., native received the diagnosis one day before he was to leave to attend Green Mountain Valley School, a ski academy in Vermont, on a full scholarship. Walsh, a promising youth skier, was first coached by Shiffrin’s mom, Eileen.

Walsh received those treatments for 14 months before being declared cancer-free.

One of those days in the hospital, Shiffrin told Walsh that she had never been to a high school prom. “Mikaela said to me, ‘You better be around for that because you’re taking me to your prom,'” Walsh said, according to The New York Times.

Walsh did just that in 2012. Then in 2014, Walsh traveled to Sochi through the Make-A-Wish Foundation to watch his longtime friend compete in the Olympics.

It motivated Walsh to research para Alpine skiing. He debuted on the World Cup in 2015 and by 2017 competed at worlds.

Then on Sunday, the 23-year-old Walsh made his Paralympic debut, finishing 13th in the standing super-G in PyeongChang.

“It’s a whole bunch of emotions,” Walsh said on NBCSN. “As all of our athletes and people with disabilities, I know there’s a lot of different struggles. Competing in the Games is a pretty big dream of mine.”

Walsh was then shown a video screen of a taped message from Shiffrin, who was in Germany for World Cup competition.

“I wish I could hug you right now and tell you that we’re so proud of you,” Shiffrin said, sniffling back tears. “I love you.”

Walsh was taken aback.

“Mikaela may be a champion and a star and an international hero, some would say, to ski racing,” he said. “I’ll even say the greatest female ski racer of all time, but above it all she’s just one of my good friends. … You look at me now. I’m standing here talking to you. I look pretty normal. Mikaela was there when I was really in the dumps and life was really uncertain.”

Walsh is next scheduled to race in the super combined on Monday night (ET). NBCSN coverage of the Paralympics continues at 9 p.m.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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MORE: Paralympic TV, streaming schedule

Mikaela Shiffrin rebounds from Olympics, wins World Cup slalom title

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Mikaela Shiffrin rebounded from missing the Olympic slalom podium to clinch her fifth World Cup slalom season title with her 42nd career World Cup victory, most for any racer before turning 23 years old.

Shiffrin, shockingly fourth in the PyeongChang slalom, prevailed by .09 over Swiss Wendy Holdener in Ofterschwang, Germany, on Saturday. PyeongChang gold medalist Frida Hansdotter of Sweden was third.

Full results are here.

Holdener has never won a World Cup slalom but does have 16 podium finishes, including 12 in races won by Shiffrin.

“For Wendy, I knew she had a really good run because I could hear the announcers from the top, but I thought ‘not today Wendy!’” Shiffrin said, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

Shiffrin notched her 11th win this season, matching her total from last season, and in her last possible race broke the record for most wins before turning 23. She turns 23 on Tuesday, one day before the World Cup Finals start in Are, Sweden.

Shiffrin already clinched a repeat World Cup overall title. Only Swiss Vreni Schneider won more World Cup slalom season titles (six) than Shiffrin’s five.

Austrian legend Annemarie Moser-Proell won her 41st race at age 21, then took a whole season off to care for her father before he died of lung cancer in 1976. Moser-Proell returned and won another 21 races. Her last race was at age 26.

Shiffrin is now tied for fifth on the women’s career World Cup wins list with Swede Anja PärsonLindsey Vonn, who did not race this weekend but will be in Are, holds the record of 81 wins. Vonn had seven wins when she turned 23.

“My biggest challenge this year has not been the Olympics or the (World Cup) overall or any of that, but getting motivated for these last races,” Shiffrin said.

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MORE: Best Alpine skiing moments of PyeongChang Olympics