Mikaela Shiffrin’s most memorable World Cup races

Mikaela Shiffrin
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The most memorable of Mikaela Shiffrin‘s 76 World Cup wins heading into the Killington Cup in Vermont on Saturday and Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET each day on NBC and Peacock) …

Dec. 20, 2012: Win No. 1

Under the lights in Åre, Sweden, a 17-year-old Shiffrin became the second-youngest American to win a World Cup (Jody Nagel, 1969). The look on her face was priceless. “I guess I just tried to fly,” she said moments after the victory. “I’m probably going to hug my mom a lot.”

“I don’t really like the success,” she added later, according to The Associated Press. “I like to sleep at night, and I like to hang around the hotel room with my mom. I’m afraid there might be a little hype with this. But I’ll take it. This is what I love to do.”

Nov. 28, 2015: A Record Rout

Shiffrin, a Coloradan, enjoyed some home cooking in Aspen by winning a slalom by a whopping 3.07 seconds combining times from two runs. It was the greatest margin of victory in World Cup women’s slalom history and larger than the margin that separated second place from 18th place.

“I don’t think [my competitors] are going to let me get away with three seconds ever again,” she said that day. She was right. Shiffrin won by a mere 2.65 seconds the next day (fourth-largest margin in history).

Nov. 27, 2016: First Win In Killington

Shiffrin was recently asked her favorite of her five slalom wins (in five starts) in Killington. She said it was her first on the very first World Cup weekend at the venue. Not so much because of how she performed — prevailing by .73 of a second for a record-tying 10th consecutive World Cup slalom win. But for the moment she shared afterward — a finish area photo with dozens of members of team Shiffrin, including her 95-year-old grandmother. “The most proud I’ve ever been is to win a race in front of my nana,” she said then.

“Sometimes I wonder when I’m racing, is the pressure that I feel right now, and almost the sickness that I feel from this pressure, is it worth it?” she said recently. “Sometimes it only takes a single moment to make you realize how much it is worth it. And that was the moment for me.”

March 17, 2019: Mikaela’s Masterpiece

The exact peak of Shiffrin’s career? On this day, she finished off arguably the greatest season in history (a record 17 World Cup victories), capped by earning her first giant slalom season title at the World Cup Finals.

“The work is so worth it when you’re able to say that I’m really living my dream that I had when I was 5 years old,” she said at those World Cup Finals. “I was thinking, maybe it’s impossible, and then you realize that it is possible and that now you’re starting to push the limits of what everybody in the world thinks is possible. That’s a really cool feeling, but the feeling doesn’t change. I’m still just a girl with a dream.”

Dec. 14, 2020: An Emotional Return

Shiffrin’s first victory since the death of her father, Jeff, the previous Feb. 2. She won a giant slalom in Courchevel, France, and, after a subdued reaction and dropping to her knees, called it bittersweet. “After everything, it’s hard to believe that I could get back to this point,” she said in one of several emotional post-race interviews. “I’m really excited, but it’s also pretty sad because … I guess that’s obvious.”

Later on social media, Shiffrin posted, “Cheers to the wonderful and kind people who said I lost my fire forever. This one’s for you. Also this one’s for every single person who is helping me get the fire back.”

Jan. 11, 2022: An Iconic Victory

Shiffrin burst into tears upon winning a night slalom in Schladming, Austria, an iconic venue for the men that hosted a women’s slalom for just the second time. It was also the venue of Shiffrin’s first world title in 2013. But the setting wasn’t wholly the reason for Shiffrin breaking down. She had been struggling — relatively, for her — in her trademark discipline while rival Petra Vlhova of Slovakia looked stronger and stronger. Shiffrin rallied from fifth place after the first run to win, edging Vlhova, the first-run leader.

“It feels like it didn’t happen,” said Shiffrin, who with the win broke the record for most World Cup victories in a single discipline (her 47th slalom). “Aside from Killington, for obvious reasons, it’s going to be my most memorable race, maybe of my career.”

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Mikaela Shiffrin skips Lake Louise speed races with different World Cup schedule

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Mikaela Shiffrin will not race downhills and a super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, this weekend, skipping the traditional first speed races of the World Cup season for the first time since 2014 to focus on training her primary events of slalom and giant slalom.

Shiffrin decided before the season began that she would not race Lake Louise, a representative said. A reason: For the first time in six years, tech races rather than speed races in Europe are scheduled for the weekend following Lake Louise.

Shiffrin’s schedule for now includes the next speed races in St. Moritz, Switzerland, from Dec. 16-18, but that may change.

For the first time in her career, Shiffrin won her first two races of the season, taking slaloms on back-to-back days in Levi, Finland, two weekends ago.

MORE: Alpine Skiing Broadcast Schedule

This past weekend, she placed 13th and fifth in a GS and a slalom in Killington, Vermont. In five previous trips to Killington, she finished second, third, fourth and fifth in the GS and won all five of the slaloms.

“There are positives to take away from the races and positives about my skiing,” Shiffrin posted on social media. “I know the direction I need to work in GS, and I just need a few days to get that repetition. With slalom, I also have a bit of a direction as well.

“It’s easy for people to say that I won in Levi and that I’m back and I’m going to win everything now again…it’s not really the case. There are women who are skiing better than I am, and on any given day any one of us have the capability to win.”

Shiffrin has raced more downhills and super-Gs in Lake Louise than any other World Cup venue. She made her World Cup super-G debut there in 2015 and her World Cup downhill debut there in 2016 and earned her first World Cup downhill win there in 2017 and first World Cup super-G win there in 2018.

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Anna Shcherbakova, Olympic figure skating champion, extends competition absence

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Olympic figure skating champion Anna Shcherbakova will miss the Russian Championships because she has not fully recovered from August knee surgery, a representative for the skater said Tuesday.

Shcherbakova, 18, has been sidelined from competition since the surgery. All Russian skaters are banned from international competition due to the war in Ukraine, but Russia has been holding domestic events with its top skaters.

Shcherbakova will take part in non-competitive skating shows in December, first at a World Cup fan zone in Qatar and later a show in Russia that takes place during the national championships, according to Russian media. Shcherbakova’s representative did not address her show plans when confirming her absence from nationals.

Russia is scheduled to hold its national championships the week of Christmas, as usual. That event usually determines its team for March’s world championships, though there is no indication that the ban on Russian skaters will be lifted any time soon to make them eligible for worlds.

Since Russian skaters were banned from competing at last March’s worlds, they were unable to qualify more than the minimum one entry per discipline for the next worlds for which they will be eligible.

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