Mikaela Shiffrin wins fourth World Cup overall title, second most in women’s history


Mikaela Shiffrin will finish a season that she said included the lowest moments of her career by lifting the biggest annual prize in ski racing — a 20-pound crystal globe that goes to the World Cup overall champion.

Shiffrin clinched her fourth overall title Thursday, tying Lindsey Vonn for second most in women’s history. She secured it with two races remaining in the 37-race season that began in October.

Shiffrin finished second in the World Cup Finals super-G in Courchevel, France, .05 behind Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel.

Her closest rival in the overall standings, Petra Vlhova, was 17th. The Slovakian dropped from 156 points behind Shiffrin to 236 points, an insurmountable deficit as a race winner receives 100 points.

WORLD CUP FINALS: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

“There were many moments this season that have been very great,” Shiffrin said on ORF. “But there’s also been some very low moments. It’s the lowest I’ve ever felt in my career, in my life as well. Not just skiing, but as a human, there’s been moments where I feel the weight of everything so much that it’s just a terrible feeling.

“After the Olympics, [the overall] was the final goal that was still possible to achieve. It felt like all the biggest goals I had this season, I didn’t do anything. Now this is very special.”

Shiffrin began this week’s finals with a 56-point lead from results over the season’s first 33 World Cup races. She distanced Vlhova by winning Wednesday’s downhill before cementing the overall title Thursday.

The overall “was not our goal before the season,” said Vlhova, who didn’t do every race as she did last season, when she became the first Slovakian to win the overall.

“We decided to fight for overall after Olympics,” Vlhova, who was tied with Shiffrin in the overall three weeks ago, said on ORF. “I’m happy for [Shiffrin]. Because, maybe, after Olympics she was a little bit down. I think, me I have small globe [slalom season title], Olympic [slalom] gold. She has overall globe. We are fifty-fifty.”

Only the legendary Annemarie Moser-Pröll has more World Cup overall titles than Shiffrin, who at 27 is young enough to chase the Austrian’s record. Moser-Pröll won six in the 1970s.

The overall title goes to the skier with the most combined points across all disciplines over the course of a season. The winner is generally regarded as the world’s best all-around Alpine skier.

This is Shiffrin’s first overall title since she won three in a row from 2017-19.

In 2020, she raced an abbreviated season due to the death of her father. In 2021, she was sidelined by a back injury at the start of the season and raced zero downhills or super-Gs on the World Cup.

This season, Shiffrin came back from a back injury, a COVID-19 quarantine and an Olympics where her best individual finish was ninth to each time return to the top of the World Cup podium.

“This season has been one of the most confusing seasons,” she said. “After the Olympics, that’s a hard wall to climb over.”

Shiffrin has two races left this season — a slalom on Saturday and a giant slalom on Sunday. She has 74 career World Cup wins, trailing only Vonn (82) and Ingemar Stenmark (86).

She has a record 47 slalom victories, but in her most recent slalom last Saturday, she was ninth, her lowest result in a slalom that she finished since 2014.

“This last week alone was some very low moments, [thinking] like I should just go home because I don’t think I would truly have a chance, and somehow we’re here now,” she said Thursday. “Sometimes things go your way, and sometimes, as I know, things don’t always go your way.”

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen

Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan

Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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