Mikaela Shiffrin is on the verge of clinching the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in Alpine skiing. It should become official on Saturday.
Shiffrin will clinch at the World Cup Finals slalom in Aspen, Colo., if she finishes in the top 15, or if Slovenian Ilka Stuhec does not win. NBC Sports will air coverage (broadcast schedule here).
This is a near certainty, given Shiffrin has won seven of nine slaloms this season, and Stuhec has only finished one slalom in her career (placing 10th). In fact, Stuhec may skip Saturday’s slalom altogether.
Stuhec stayed in mathematical contention by finishing first and second in the first two of four World Cup Finals races this week. The Aspen series is the conclusion of a 37-race season that began in October.
Shiffrin has won 11 of those races, four more than anybody else, plus three-peated as world championships gold medalist in the slalom.
Shiffrin, who turned 22 on Monday, will become the youngest men’s or women’s overall champion since Croatian Janica Kostelic in 2003.
Previous Americans to take the overall title were Phil Mahre, Tamara McKinney, Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn.
Shiffrin could go into the 2018 Olympics with a chance to become the first U.S. woman to win three gold medals at a single Winter Games, given she has won World Cup races in slalom, giant slalom and super combined this season.
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