U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin made good on the slopes of Semmering, Austria, giving alpine racing fans a thrill by becoming both the winningest skier in World Cup history in women’s slalom and setting a new record for most wins in a calendar year.
Shiffrin now holds the record for most World Cup slalom wins for a woman with 36. On her way to history she passed her childhood hero, Marlies Schild of Austria. Throughout her career Shiffrin has said Schild will always be the greatest, regardless of how many races she may win.
“Marlies for me, she’s always going to be the best,” Shiffrin said after the win. “I wouldn’t be where I am, without being able to watch her.”
Picking up her 36th World Cup slalom victory also makes Shiffrin the second winningest slalom skier for a man or woman on the World Cup. She now needs just four more wins to tie Sweden’s legendary Ingemar Stenmark for the top spot.
Shiffrin also set the single-year win record for any skier in tour history with the slalom victory — her 15th in 2018.
And just to add a little more icing to an already sweet day, Shiffrin’s slalom win was also the 51st time she topped a World Cup podium, pushing her past Italy’s Alberto Tomba on the World Cup all-time win list where she is now in sole possession of the seventh spot.
After the first trip down the slalom course in Semmering, Shiffrin and Petra Vlhova of Slovakia were sitting one and two in the standings. Shiffrin came up short a day earlier when Vlhova posted the best time in the giant slalom, effectively putting all record setting for Shiffrin on hold.
Shiffrin took the early lead in the slalom with a .48 hundredths of a second gap between herself and Vlhova after the first run. The lead was much more comfortable on this day as opposed to the .02 hundredths of a second lead Shiffrin had after yesterday’s first run in the GS.
Indeed, the record books required edits after Shiffrin’s second slalom run. As she climbed into the start gate, Shiffrin needed to ski faster than her Friday rival Vlhova once more. Vlhova sat in the leader’s chair with a .09 hundredths of a second lead, but it wasn’t enough. Shiffrin answered with a second run .29 hundredths of a second faster.
“[My] second run was more of a battle. I was trying to not risk everything, but making speed on every turn,” Shiffrin explained. “I had a couple mistakes…where I was fighting for my life.
”But it was a good fight.”
Joining Shiffrin and Vlhova on the podium in third was Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener. Full results are here.
Meanwhile in Bormio, the men’s World Cup tour continued with the Super-G. Friday’s downhill winner, and Bormio local, Italy’s Dominik Paris found the speed he needed to pick up his second win of the weekend. Grinding through the lower section of the course, Paris made up time and crossed the finish to beat the reigning Olympic champion in Super-G, Austria’s Mathias Mayer by just .01 hundredth of a second. Full results are here.
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