Mikaela Shiffrin ties Lindsey Vonn’s record for World Cup wins

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Mikaela Shiffrin tied Lindsey Vonn‘s female record with her 82nd career World Cup win, taking a giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, on Sunday.

Shiffrin’s first bid to break the record will be Tuesday in a night slalom in Flachau, Austria, live on Peacock.

The only Alpine skier with more World Cup wins than Shiffrin is Swede Ingemar Stenmark, who racked up 86 in the 1970s and ’80s.

On Sunday, Shiffrin said she developed a face rash and felt like she could pass out at the start because she was so nervous. Yet she was fastest in both runs and prevailed by .77 of a second over Italian Federica Brignone. She pumped her arms and yelled after finishing, then sat with her arms folded around her knees.

“I don’t care about the number,” Shiffrin said. “I just focus on the skiing.”

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The 2012 song “Hall of Fame” by the Script began playing over loud speakers, followed by Tina Turner‘s “Simply the Best.”

“I don’t know why [I was so nervous], maybe a little bit was because of 82,” said Shiffrin, saying it was maybe the most nervous she has ever felt at a ski race. “I really wanted to ski it well, and I did.

“I hope some day I can ski like that again because it was maybe the best skiing I ever did in a GS.”

Later, Shiffrin shed tears on the podium.

“My dad used to be there and taking pictures, and most races these days, I’ll think about him,” Shiffrin said of her father, Jeff, who died unexpectedly on Feb. 2, 2020. “Before I ever won my first World Cup, he said, ‘You better memorize the words of the national anthem, because if you ever win, you better sing it.’ And so I always think about him when I’m up there.”

Shiffrin continued a torrid start to the season with her eighth victory in 15 tries, which included a five-race win streak that was snapped when she tied for sixth in a GS on Saturday.

“The heart’s beating, and I can’t feel my legs,” she said. “Every time I feel that, then I try to be more powerful, like somehow push harder instead of being too nice to the trail or something.”

The 27-year-old has as many victories this season as her last two seasons combined. The last time she won this many races in one season was her record 17-win campaign in 2018-19.

It took Shiffrin 233 World Cup starts to reach 82 wins. Vonn won her 82nd around her 390th start at age 33. Stenmark won his 82nd at age 29 around his 220th start, according to ski-db.com (when extracting parallel races that didn’t count as World Cups back then).

Shiffrin also moved into solo second place for women’s World Cup giant slalom wins with her 17th, trailing only Swiss Vreni Schneider, who won 20. Shiffrin already owns the most slalom wins for men or women with 51, a record for any discipline.

Attention now turns to breaking the record she now shares with Vonn, then pursuing Stenmark. One person who is not focused on it: Shiffrin.

“Maybe at some point people will stop talking about it,” she laughed. “It’s not my goal, but it’s an important thing. I’m not very good at finding words to describe that. If I get there, I hope I can keep it in my own head in a way that it’s not a relief to get to 86 because it would be such a shame to feel relieved about 86 victories, because then it’s over. I should just celebrate whatever comes for the next races and for the rest of my career because I don’t want to ruin it by chasing some record that probably shouldn’t be broken anyway.”

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Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Olympic 400m champion, announces pregnancy

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Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo, the two-time reigning Olympic 400m champion, announced she is pregnant with her first child.

“New Year, New Blessing,” she posted on social media with husband Maicel Uibo, the 2019 World Championships silver medalist in the decathlon for Estonia. “We can’t wait to meet our little bundle of joy.”

Miller-Uibo, 28, followed her repeat Olympic title in Tokyo by winning her first world indoor and outdoor titles last year.

Also last year, Miller-Uibo said she planned to drop the 400m and focus on the 200m going into the 2024 Paris Games rather than possibly bid to become the first woman to win the same individual Olympic running event three times.

She has plenty of experience in the 200m, making her world championships debut in that event in 2013 and placing fourth. She earned 200m bronze at the 2017 Worlds, was the world’s fastest woman in the event in 2019 and petitioned for a Tokyo Olympic schedule change to make a 200m-400m double easier. The petition was unsuccessful.

She did both races anyway, finishing last in the 200m final, 1.7 seconds behind the penultimate finisher on the same day of the 400m first round.

She did not race the 200m at last July’s worlds, where the 200m and 400m overlapped.

Notable moms to win individual Olympic sprint titles include American Wilma Rudolph, who swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1960 Rome Olympics two years after having daughter Yolanda.

And Dutchwoman Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won four gold medals at the 1948 London Olympics, when the mother of two also held world records in the high jump and long jump, two events in which she didn’t compete at those Games.

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Germany goes 1-2 at bobsled worlds; Kaillie Humphries breaks medals record

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Kim Kalicki and Lisa Buckwitz gave Germany a one-two in the world bobsled championships two-woman event, while American Kaillie Humphries earned bronze to break the career medals record.

Kalicki, who was fourth at last year’s Olympics and leads this season’s World Cup standings, edged Buckwitz by five hundredths of a second combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Humphries, with push athlete Kaysha Love, was 51 hundredths behind.

Olympic champion Laura Nolte was in third place after two runs but crashed in the third run.

Humphries, 37 and a three-time Olympic champion between two-woman and monobob, earned her eighth world championships medal in the two-woman event. That broke her tie for the record of seven with retired German Sandra Kiriasis. Humphries is also the most decorated woman in world championships monobob, taking gold and silver in the two times it has been contested.

Humphries rolled her ankle after the first day of last week’s monobob, plus took months off training in the offseason while also doing two rounds of IVF.

“I chose to continue the IVF journey through the season which included a Lupron Depot shot the day before this race began,” she posted after her monobob silver last weekend. “My weight and body fluctuating all year with hormones, it was a battle to find my normal while competing again. I’m happy with this result, I came into it wanting a podium and we achieved it as a team.”

Love, who was seventh with Humphries in the Olympic two-woman event, began her transition to become a driver after the Games.

Worlds finish Sunday with the final two runs of the four-man event.

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