Mikaela Shiffrin was beaten for the third time in 10 World Cup slaloms this season, edged out by .24 at the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday.
Shiffrin, the Olympic and world slalom champion, took second to Slovakian Petra Vlhova. Swede Frida Hansdotter was third.
Vlhova was fastest in both runs, while Shiffrin was third-fastest in both runs.
“I wouldn’t call today a bad day,” Shiffrin said. “I was disappointed with some of my skiing and also happy with some of my skiing. Yeah, second place is never bad.”
Shiffrin, who turned 22 years old on Monday and has 11 World Cup wins this season, already had the season overall and slalom titles wrapped up before Saturday’s race.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever process that,” a smiling Shiffrin said of becoming the fifth American man or woman to take the overall title, and the youngest of any nationality since 2003. “It’s been a goal and a dream of mine since I was 5 years old, and it’s really difficult to understand something that finally happens after 20 years.”
Shiffrin is up to 1,603 points this season, which is the most by a female racer since Tina Maze set the points record with 2,414 in 2013. Shiffrin has competed in 24 of 36 races this season, skipping the majority of the downhill, super-G and super combined races.
Maze, now retired, competed in all 35 races in her historic 2012-13 campaign.
“I remember when Tina Maze had her big, big season, and she said to me at the end, ‘Don’t do every event. It’s so exhausting,'” Shiffrin said. “I was like, but that’s what I want to do. Now, a couple years later, I can understand what she means. I didn’t even ski in every race this year, and I feel the fatigue.”
Earlier Saturday, Austrian Marcel Hirscher won the World Cup Finals giant slalom by .53. Hirscher, who already clinched his record sixth straight World Cup overall title, finished first or second in all eight giant slaloms this season.
The World Cup Finals conclude Sunday with the men’s slalom and women’s giant slalom (broadcast schedule here).
“I’m definitely motivated after today,” Shiffrin said. “I don’t want to leave anything out there.”
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