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.
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 Pärson. Lindsey 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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