Mikaela Shiffrin wins again, moves two away from Ingemar Stenmark’s record

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A day after breaking her tie with Lindsey VonnMikaela Shiffrin won again, moving two victories shy of the overall Alpine skiing World Cup record.

Shiffrin swept a pair of giant slaloms in Kronplatz, Italy, the last two days to give her 84 World Cup wins, taking Wednesday’s race by 82 hundredths of a second over Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel combining times from two runs.

“After yesterday, I was just so tired,” Shiffrin, who said she was awake at midnight, 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. after Tuesday’s milestone, told Austrian broadcaster ORF. “I felt nervous because I was tired. When I’m skiing tired, then I make mistakes. … In the first run, I thought I’m either going to go out of the course in the fourth gate, or it’s going to be a really good run. It ended up being a really good run.”

Swede Ingemar Stenmark won 86 times in the 1970s and ’80s.

Paula Moltzan was seventh on Wednesday and Nina O’Brien 10th. It’s the first time three U.S. women made the top 10 of a World Cup race in five years.

Three Americans made the top 10 of a World Cup technical race (giant slalom or slalom) for the first time since Dec. 3, 2005 (Bode Miller, Daron Rahlves, Erik Schlopy). From January 2017 to October 2020, Shiffrin was the only U.S. women to finish in the top 10 of any traditional World Cup slalom or giant slalom.

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

ON HER TURF: U.S. women’s Alpine skiing pioneer reflects on Shiffrin

Shiffrin can tie Stenmark as early as Sunday with two slaloms this weekend in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic, site of Shiffrin’s first World Cup start at age 15 in 2011.

“Technically, it is possible,” she said. “I’m going out for some training tomorrow, and then going to try to get a really good, efficient, recovery day, and then we’ll see if I can put the energy on my slalom skis for two more races.

“It’s busy, and I’m kind of at an unfortunate time of my monthly cycle,” she continued with a smile and a laugh. “So I’m, like, more tired right now. So just normalize talking about that.”

After that, the record pursuit pauses for the world championships in France. World championships races do not count as World Cups.

Shiffrin has 10 wins in 21 starts this season, her most successful campaign since her record 17-victory season in 2018-19.

Her 19 career World Cup giant slalom wins are second in women’s history, one behind retired Swiss Vreni Schneider. Shiffrin’s 51 World Cup slalom wins are the most for any Alpine skier in any discipline.

“Between the second race in Kranjska Gora [two weeks ago] and these two races yesterday and today, it’s the best GS skiing I ever did,” she said, according to the International Ski Federation.

LAYDEN: Shiffrin’s numbers tell us a story we should already know

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Ilia Malinin wins U.S. Figure Skating Championships despite quadruple Axel miss

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One year ago, Ilia Malinin came to the U.S. Championships as, largely, a 17-year-old unknown. He finished second to Nathan Chen in 2022 and was left off the three-man Olympic team due to his inexperience, a committee decision that lit a fire in him.

After the biggest year of change in U.S. figure skating in three decades, Malinin came to this week’s nationals in San Jose, California, as the headliner across all disciplines.

Though he fell on his quadruple Axel and doubled two other planned quads in Sunday’s free skate (the most ambitious program in history), he succeeded the absent Chen as national champion.

Malinin, the world’s second-ranked male singles skater, still landed two clean quads in Friday’s short program and three more Sunday. He totaled 287.74 points and prevailed by 10.43 over two-time Olympian Jason Brown, a bridge between the Chen and Malinin eras.

“This wasn’t the skate that I wanted,” said Malinin, who was bidding to become the second man to land six quads in one program after Chen. The Virginia chalked up the flaws at least partially to putting more recent practice time into his short program, which he skated clean on Friday after errors in previous competitions.

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Results

Brown, a 28-year-old competing for the first time since placing sixth at the Olympics, became the oldest male singles skater to finish in the top three at nationals since Jeremy Abbott won the last of his four titles in 2014. As usual, he didn’t attempt a quad but had the highest artistic score by 9.41 points.

Brown’s seven total top-three finishes at nationals tie him with Chen, Michael WeissBrian Boitano, David Jenkins and Dick Button for the second-most in men’s singles since World War II, trailing only Todd Eldredge‘s and Hayes Jenkins‘ eight.

“I’m not saying it’s super old, but I can’t train the way I used to,” Brown said after Friday’s short program. “What Ilia is doing and the way he is pushing the sport is outstanding and incredible to watch. I cannot keep up.”

Andrew Torgashev took bronze, winning the free skate with one quad and all clean jumps. Torgashev, who competed at nationals for the first time since placing fifth in 2020 at age 18, will likely round out the three-man world team.

Japan’s Shoma Uno will likely be the favorite at worlds. He won last year’s world title, when Malinin admittedly cracked under pressure in the free skate after a fourth-place short program and ended up ninth.

That was before Malinin became the first person to land a quad Axel in competition. That was before Malinin became the story of the figure skating world this fall. That was before Malinin took over the American throne from Chen, who is studying at Yale and not expected to return to competition.

Malinin’s next step is to grab another label that Chen long held: best in the world. To do that, he must be better than he was on Sunday.

“You always learn from your experiences, and there’s always still the rest of the season to come,” he said. “I just have to be prepared and prepare a little bit extra so that doesn’t happen again.”

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Mark McMorris breaks Winter X Games medals record; David Wise wins first title in 5 years

Mark McMorris
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Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris broke his tie with American Jamie Anderson for the most Winter X Games medals across all sites, earning his 22nd medal, a slopestyle gold, in Aspen, Colorado.

On the final run of Sunday’s contest, McMorris overtook Norway’s Marcus Kleveland with back-to-back 1620s on the last two jumps. McMorris’ last three Aspen slopestyle titles were all won on his final run (2019, 2022).

“It’s something I never thought would ever come to me as a kid from Saskatchewan,” McMorris, 29, said on the broadcast. “Everything’s just been a bonus since I became a pro snowboarder.”

In a format introduced three years ago, athletes were ranked on overall impression of their best run over the course of a jam session rather than scoring individual runs.

McMorris won his record-extending seventh X Games Aspen men’s slopestyle title, one day after finishing fourth in big air.

“It just keeps getting crazier because I keep getting older,” he said. “People just keep pushing the limits, pushing the limits. Last night was such a downer, almost bums me out, like, dude, do I still have it? … To have one of those miracle wins where you do it on the last run and someone makes you push yourself, those are the best feelings.”

McMorris won slopestyle bronze medals at each of the last three Olympics and reportedly said last February that he was planning to compete through the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games.

Canadian Max Parrot, the 2022 Olympic slopestyle champion, is taking this season off from competition.

Anderson, a two-time Olympic snowboard slopestyle champion, is expecting her first child.

Later Sunday, American David Wise earned his first major ski halfpipe title since repeating as Olympic champion in 2018. Wise landed back-to-back double cork 1260s to end his winning run, according to commentators.

“I wouldn’t still be out here if I didn’t think I had a chance,” Wise, 32 and now a five-time X Games Aspen champ, said on the broadcast. “I’m not going to be the guy who just keeps playing the game until everybody just begs me to stop.”

U.S. Olympian Mac Forehand won men’s ski big air with a 2160 on his last run, according to commentators. It scored a perfect 50. Olympic gold medalist Birk Ruud of Norway followed with a triple cork 2160 of his own, according to commentators, and finished third.

Canadian skier Megan Oldham added slopestyle gold to her big air title from Friday, relegating Olympic champion Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland to silver.

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