Wendy Holdener

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Mikaela Shiffrin can clinch World Cup overall title Friday

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Mikaela Shiffrin will mathematically clinch a second straight World Cup overall title if she finishes sixth or better in a World Cup giant slalom on Friday, her first race since taking gold and silver medals at the PyeongChang Olympics.

The race in Ofterschwang, Germany, is scheduled for 5 a.m. ET (first run) and 8 a.m. (second run), both streaming on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app. Olympic Channel will air TV coverage at 7:30 a.m. The women also race a slalom Saturday on the Olympic Channel.

Shiffrin leads the season standings with 1,513 points through 33 of 39 scheduled races, thanks largely to a run of 10 wins in 14 starts between Thanksgiving and Jan. 9.

Swiss Wendy Holdener is in second place with 952 points, putting her 561 points behind with six races left.

A skier can receive a maximum of 100 points per race (that’s for a win), so Holdener would pretty much need to win out and have Shiffrin ski out of the remaining races to pull off one of the most improbable comebacks in sports history.

Holdener said last weekend that “there is no chance” she overtakes Shiffrin, according to The Associated Press.

“I am second, and it would be nice if it stays that way,” she said, according to the AP.

Shiffrin skipped last weekend’s super-G and super combined in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. As did Lindsey Vonn, who is also missing this weekend’s technical events (not her specialties) but will return for the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden, next week.

If Shiffrin wins two more races between the next two weeks, she will match Vonn’s record for most wins in a World Cup season by an American.

If Shiffrin wins four of the final six races (unlikely but possible), she would tie Swiss Vreni Schneider‘s record for wins in a season by any skier.

A World Cup overall repeat will put Shiffrin halfway to Vonn’s four career overall titles, the annual prize that goes to the world’s best all-around skier.

Shiffrin is also in the running for season titles in the giant slalom and slalom. She is 81 points behind German Viktoria Rebensburg for the GS title and leads the slalom standings by 175 points. There are two races left in each of those disciplines.

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Lindsey Vonn just misses podium in World Cup combined

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Lindsey Vonn couldn’t hang onto the podium in the slalom run of a World Cup combined Friday, going from first after the morning super-G to finish fourth in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

Wendy Holdener, the world champion in the combined, made up a .71 deficit on Vonn after the super-G to win by 1.55 seconds over Italian Marta Bassino.

Slovenia’s Ana Bucik ended up third despite being 30th in the super-G. Vonn was 1.88 back of the Swiss Holdener.

Holdener was fifth overall after the super-G run but also the most decorated slalom skier in the field.

Full results are here.

Vonn led Italian Federica Brignone by six tenths after the super-G, but Vonn struggles in slalom. It’s the one event the 79-time World Cup race winner definitely will not race in PyeongChang.

She had the 17th-fastest slalom run of the top 30 skiers from the super-G.

The Olympic combined medal favorites are tougher to gauge due to the fact that Friday’s race marked the only combined this season before the Winter Games.

Vonn is certainly in the mix. She was fifth in the combined at last season’s world championships.

“That’s why I’m starting [Friday’s race], so I can see how it feels for the Olympics and know how much I need to improve if I want to get a medal,” Vonn said.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who didn’t contest the combined at worlds but is nonetheless an Olympic medal favorite, skipped Friday’s race to rest. She is expected to headline a giant slalom Saturday and slalom Sunday in Lenzerheide.

Coverage will be on NBCSN and streaming on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

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Mikaela Shiffrin three-peats in world championships slalom

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With the largest margin of victory in 47 years, Mikaela Shiffrin became the first woman in 78 years to win three straight world titles in the slalom.

The 21-year-old boosted her bid next year to become the first skier of either gender to repeat as Olympic slalom champion.

Shiffrin prevailed by a monstrous 1.64 seconds combining two runs over Swiss Wendy Holdener in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Saturday. Swede Frida Hansdotter earned bronze.

Shiffrin doubled over in disbelief looking toward the scoreboard after crossing the finish line, jaw agape, before covering her mouth with her glove. Then she turned toward the crowd and screamed while raising her arms three times.

“I didn’t see my time until I got all the way through and I knew I had a good run, but I didn’t know it was that good until I saw the time,” Shiffrin said, according to the International Ski Federation. “Three [gold] medals is great, but today is really special today for me because I finally skied this the way I wanted to, and that’s what means a lot to me today.”

The 1.64-second margin was the largest in any women’s event at worlds since 1970, according to ski-db.com.

“Oh my god,” were Shiffrin’s first words picked up by finish-area microphones, before she congratulated Holdener on her super combined title the previous week.

She had the fastest first run by .38 and the fastest second run by .85.

“There was no beating Mikaela today,” Holdener said.


NBC will air women’s slalom coverage Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. The world championships conclude with the men’s slalom Sunday (3:45 and 7 a.m. ET, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).

The only other skiers to earn three world titles in the slalom were Swede Ingemar Stenmark (1978-82, with one of those doubling as the Olympics) and German Christel Cranz, who earned five crowns from 1934 through 1939.

Earlier at worlds, Shiffrin earned her first major giant slalom medal, a silver behind Frenchwoman Tessa Worley on Thursday.

Shiffrin only entered those two events in St. Moritz, but she could race all five individual events at the PyeongChang Olympics. Three years ago, Shiffrin memorably (regrettably) blurted out in an early-morning, dreary-eyed press conference after winning her Olympic slalom title that she dreamed of winning five gold medals in 2018.

She has since slowly picked up the speed events of super-G and downhill. Shiffrin was fourth in her most recent World Cup super-G, but has only raced two World Cup downhills with a best finish of 13th.

She will return to the World Cup circuit next week, en route to becoming the third U.S. woman to claim the overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing. Tamara McKinney and Lindsey Vonn are the others,

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