Mikaela Shiffrin, after the toughest slalom stretch of her career, starts new season on fire

Mikaela Shiffrin
Getty
0 Comments

Mikaela Shiffrin became the first woman to win the first two races of the Alpine skiing World Cup season in 29 years, taking back-to-back slaloms this weekend and bouncing back from her worst string of slalom results to end last season.

Shiffrin followed her 75th World Cup victory on Saturday with another one on Sunday in Levi, Finland. She won consecutive races for the first time since 2019 and extended her record for the most wins for any man or woman in a single discipline with her 49th in slalom.

Shiffrin won Sunday with the fastest times in both runs, prevailing by .28 of a second over Swiss Wendy Holdener. Olympic champion Petra Vlhova of Slovakia was third.

“The second run, maybe it’s the best run I’ve ever skied on this hill,” said Shiffrin, who has won six times in Levi. “I was actually really surprised. After the first run, if I was going to bet on someone, I was actually going to bet on Petra, and then maybe Wendy [and German Lena Duerr] next. … If I had a list, I would be fourth.”

She will go for her 50th World Cup slalom victory next Sunday in Killington, Vermont after the season’s first giant slalom on Saturday (both on NBC Sports and Peacock).

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Shiffrin, who trails Lindsey Vonn by six wins for the career women’s record across all disciplines, became the first man or woman to win the first two races of the season since Bode Miller in 2004 (and 2003). The last woman to do so was Austrian Anita Wachter in 1993.

A caveat is that most seasons do not start with two races in the same discipline, let alone at the same venue and on back-to-back days.

Nevertheless, Shiffrin eased doubts coming out of how her slalom season ended last winter — skiing out early in the first run at the Olympics, then ninth- and eighth-place finishes in the last two World Cups. That marked her worst string of slalom results since she was a World Cup rookie as a 17-year-old.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2022 Grand Prix Final figure skating TV, live stream schedule

Ilia Malinin
Getty
0 Comments

The Grand Prix Final, the most exclusive figure skating competition of the season and a preview of March’s world championships, airs live on Peacock and E! this week.

The top six per discipline from the six-event fall Grand Prix Series gather in Turin, Italy, at the Palavela, the 2006 Olympic venue. It’s the first Grand Prix Final in three years after the 2020 and 2021 events were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. qualified skaters in all four disciplines for the first time since 2007, led by the world’s top-ranked man. Ilia Malinin, who turned 18 last Friday, has been the story of the season, becoming the first skater to land a quadruple Axel in competition.

Malinin, the reigning world junior champion, won both of his Grand Prix starts and posted the best total score among all fall events, edging world champion Shoma Uno of Japan. Malinin and Uno will go head-to-head for the first time this season at the Final.

Isabeau Levito, a 15-year-old world junior champion, is the youngest American at a Final since Caroline Zhang in 2007. She qualified in fifth place. The favorites are Japan’s Mai Mihara and Kaori Sakamoto and Belgian Loena Hendrickx.

The U.S. also qualified two pairs’ teams — world champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier and Emily Chan and Spencer Howe — and two ice dance couples — three-time world medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker.

For the first time, the Final has no Russian skaters. They are banned from international competition due to the war in Ukraine. For the first time in 25 years, there are no Chinese skaters. China’s top pairs’ teams did not compete in the fall Grand Prix Series.

Grand Prix Final Broadcast Schedule
All TV coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Thursday Pairs’ Short Program 1:20-2:15 p.m. Peacock
Men’s Short Program 2:35-3:20 p.m. Peacock
Friday Pairs’ Free Skate 11:35 a.m.-12:40 p.m. Peacock
Rhythm Dance 1:50-2:45 p.m. Peacock
Women’s Short Program 3:05-3:50 p.m. Peacock
Saturday Men’s Short Program* 6:30-7:30 a.m. E!
Men’s Free Skate 7:30-8:30 a.m. E!, Peacock
Women’s Short Program* 8:30-9:30 a.m. E!
Free Dance 1:40-2:40 p.m. Peacock
Women’s Free Skate 3-3:55 p.m. Peacock
Sunday Highlights* 4-6 p.m. NBC

*Delayed broadcast.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde sweeps Beaver Creek World Cup races

0 Comments

Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde held off Swiss Marco Odermatt for a second consecutive day to sweep World Cup races in Beaver Creek, Colorado, this weekend.

Kilde won Sunday’s super-G by two tenths of a second over Odermatt, one day after edging Odermatt by six hundredths. France’s Alexis Pinturault took third as the podium was made up of the last three men to win the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing.

This season’s overall figures to be a two-man battle between Kilde, the 2019-20 champion, and Odermatt, the reigning champion, and could come down to March’s World Cup Finals. They’ve combined to win the first five of 38 scheduled races.

The top American Sunday was River Radamus, who finished an impressive 16th given his start number was 57. Radamus’ best event is the giant slalom.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle, the Olympic super-G silver medalist, and Travis Ganong, who was third in Beaver Creek last year, both skied out.

The men’s World Cup heads next weekend to Val d’Isere, France, for a giant slalom and slalom.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!