Mikaela Shiffrin laughed off how she finished the final race of the World Cup season, getting turned backwards, falling and sliding down the giant slalom course for at least 15 seconds in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Sunday.
“I twisted out of the turn too soon,” Shiffrin told media after her failed first run. “I was getting really excited about my skiing until that point. … I was sliding down the rest of the course on my butt. … I was doing a backwards snow plow, which I have now perfected.”
Shiffrin, 21 and the youngest Olympic slalom champion, finished the season with five World Cup wins — all in slalom. She missed six of the season’s 11 slaloms due to a knee injury suffered in a Dec. 12 crash, which kept her out two months.
Shiffrin has one more competition left this season, the U.S. Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho, this week.
She will go into next season likely riding an 11-race slalom win streak, should she prevail in Sun Valley, while also seeking her first outright World Cup giant slalom victory.
Shiffrin could be among a group of decorated World Cup overall title contenders for 2016-17, with the returns from injury of Lindsey Vonn and Anna Fenninger, the possible return from break of Tina Maze and this season’s World Cup overall champion, Lara Gut.