Mikaela Shiffrin earned her 78th World Cup win, moving four victories shy of Lindsey Vonn‘s female career record, to open a busy stretch of races.
Shiffrin won a giant slalom in Semmering, Austria, by 13 hundredths of a second over Slovakian Petra Vlhova combining times from two runs. She built a commanding lead of 72 hundredths in the opening run.
It was her first GS win since Dec. 21, 2021, ending her longest victory drought in the discipline in more than six years (eight World Cup races since her last GS victory, with one podium in the last seven).
Vonn, who won 82 times, and Swede Ingemar Stenmark (86) are the only Alpine skiers with more World Cup victories than the 27-year-old Shiffrin.
Vonn has repeated in interviews this year that she believes Shiffrin will break her record and last week was quoted by a German newspaper saying that she believes Shiffrin is already the best female Alpine skier in history.
Semmering holds another GS on Wednesday and a slalom on Thursday — both live on Peacock — as part of a busy stretch of eight World Cup slaloms or giant slaloms over 15 days through Jan. 10.
“The start of a weekend with three races is always a bit nerve-racking,” Shiffrin said. “You hope that you’re in the right shape and you can bring the right intensity from the start.”
In addition to her 2018 Olympic GS gold, Shiffrin has 15 World Cup GS victories, fourth in women’s history behind Swiss Vreni Schneider (20), Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll (16) and Frenchwoman Tessa Worley (16).
Shiffrin has at least one win in all four primary disciplines in 2022 — downhill, super-G, giant slalom and slalom — completing that set in one year for the first time in her career. She has four victories this season and won five of the last seven World Cup races held in Semmering dating to 2016.
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