Mikaela Shiffrin ends what could be her best season at World Cup Finals, live on Peacock


Now that Mikaela Shiffrin broke the Alpine skiing World Cup career wins record, plus clinched season titles in the overall, giant slalom and slalom, there may just be one significant, outstanding question for her going into this week’s World Cup Finals.

Is it her best World Cup season ever?

At the World Cup Finals in Andorra, which start with downhills Wednesday, Shiffrin finishes her season with three races: Thursday’s super-G, Saturday’s slalom and Sunday’s giant slalom. All of the women’s races, plus Friday’s mixed-gender team parallel event, air live on Peacock.

“In the beginning of the season, if I could scrape by with five [wins] and the overall [season title], that would be, like, out of this world,” Shiffrin said after Saturday’s record-breaking win, her 13th race victory this season. “So I don’t really know what to say about this season.”

2023 Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals Broadcast Schedule

Wednesday Men’s Downhill Skiandsnowboard.live 5 a.m. (ET)
Women’s Downhill Peacock 6:30 a.m.
Thursday Women’s Super-G (Shiffrin) Peacock 5 a.m.
Men’s Super-G Skiandsnowboard.live 6:30 a.m.
Friday Team Parallel Peacock 7 a.m.
Saturday Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) Skiandsnowboard.live 4 a.m.
Women’s Slalom (Run 1) (Shiffrin) Peacock 5:30 a.m.
Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) Skiandsnowboard.live 7 a.m.
Women’s Slalom (Run 2) (Shiffrin) Peacock 8:30 a.m.
Highlights CNBC 3 p.m.*
Sunday Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) (Shiffrin) Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s Slalom (Run 1) Skiandsnowboard.live 5:30 a.m.
Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) (Shiffrin) Peacock 7 a.m.
Men’s Slalom (Run 2) Skiandsnowboard.live 8:30 a.m.
Highlights CNBC 3 p.m.*

*Delayed broadcast.

The best measure of an Alpine skier’s yearly success is their World Cup points. For each race, a winner receives 100 points on a descending scale through 30th place, which receives one point. At World Cup Finals, where fields are smaller than 30, only the top 15 score points.

Shiffrin has 2,028 points this season, nearly double second-place Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, which allowed her to clinch the overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing, two weeks before World Cup Finals.

In 2018-19, Shiffrin’s best season, she scored 2,204 points, the second-highest total in history behind Tina Maze‘s 2,414 from 2012-13. Shiffrin can surpass 2,204 with two wins in three starts this week, or other combinations of strong finishes.

Shiffrin has also said that, at times this season, she has produced the best skiing of her career.

But comparing 2023 to 2019 is not apples to apples. The more one dissects, a stronger case can be made for 2018-19.

In 2018-19, Shiffrin earned 17 World Cup wins, the most by any male or female Alpine skier in one season. She has 13 wins so far this season, so the most that she can finish with is 16.

In 2018-19, there were 35 races. This season, there will be 38, assuming none of the World Cup Finals events get canceled due to weather, meaning more opportunities to accumulate wins and points.

She has 28 starts this season, her most ever. If she wins all three races this week, she will have averaged 75 points per start this season. She had 26 starts in 2018-19, when she averaged nearly 85 points per start.

Shiffrin has talked about the fatigue she felt after 2018-19.

She has been busier this season, but her life changed significantly in the four years in between.

“I guess maybe I’m equally as tired,” as in 2019, she said. “Having done that season, maybe I feel like my capacity for fatigue is higher, but then at the same time. … What I’ve experienced over the last couple years, my understanding of fatigue, it’s completely different. I said I was tired in the 2018-19 season, but that was before I ever experienced not sleeping for three weeks straight [after my father’s death in February 2020].”

In at least one way, she sees a similarity between the two seasons.

“For our team, despite anything that happens, to be able to remain focused on the skiing and sort of the process of still going out every day in training and freeskiing and doing the drills and doing all the things that allow me to possibly win races,” she said. “It’s not 17 [wins], but [13] is a number that I never thought I could get in a single season again in my career.”

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Kaori Sakamoto wins figure skating worlds; top American places fourth

Kaori Sakamoto

Kaori Sakamoto overcame a late error in her free skate to become the first Japanese figure skater to win back-to-back world titles and the oldest women’s world champion since 2014.

Sakamoto, 22, totaled 224.61 points on home ice in Saitama to prevail by 3.67 over Lee Hae-In of South Korea in the closest women’s finish at worlds since 2011.

Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx took bronze, edging 16-year-old American Isabeau Levito for a medal by 2.77 points.

Sakamoto is the oldest women’s singles world champion since Mao Asada (2014), who is now the only Japanese skater with more world titles than Sakamoto.

She appeared en route to an easier victory until singling a planned triple flip late in her free skate, which put the gold in doubt. She can be thankful for pulling off the second jump of that planned combination — a triple toe loop — and her 5.62-point lead from Wednesday’s short program.

“I feel so pathetic and thought, what was all that hard work I put into my training?” Sakamoto said of her mistake, according to the International Skating Union (ISU). “But I was able to refocus and do my best till the end.

“Because I have this feeling of regret at the biggest event of the season, I want to make sure I don’t have this feeling next season. So I want to practice even harder, and I want to make sure to do clean, perfect performances at every competition.”

Lee, who had the top free skate, became the second South Korean to win a world medal in any discipline after six-time medalist Yuna Kim.

Hendrickx followed her silver from last year, when she became the first Belgian women’s singles skater to win a world medal.

FIGURE SKATING WORLDS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Levito, last year’s world junior champion, had a chance to become the youngest senior world medalist since 2014.

After a solid short program, she fell on her opening triple Lutz in the free skate and left points on the table by performing two jump combinations rather than three. The Lutz was planned to be the first half of a combination with a triple loop.

“I am severely disappointed because I’ve been nailing my Lutz-loop for a really long time, and this is the first time I’ve messed it up in a while, and of course it had to be when it actually counted,” Levito said, according to the ISU. “But I’m pretty happy with myself for just trying to move past it and focusing on making the most out of the rest of the program.”

Levito entered worlds ranked fourth in the field by best score this season. She matched the best finish for a U.S. woman in her senior global championships debut (Olympics and worlds) since Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan took silver and bronze at the 1991 Worlds. Sasha Cohen, to whom Levito is often compared, also placed fourth in her Olympic and world debuts in 2002.

“I feel very proud for myself and grateful for my coaching team for helping me get this far so far in my skating career, and I’m just very proud to be where I am,” Levito said on USA Network.

American Amber Glenn was 12th in her world debut. Two-time U.S. champion Bradie Tennell was 15th. They had been 10th and eighth, respectively, in the short program.

The U.S. qualified two women’s spots for next year’s worlds rather than the maximum three because the top two Americans’ results added up to more than 13 (Levito’s fourth plus Glenn’s 12th equaled 16). The U.S. was in position to qualify three spots after the short program.

Glenn said after the short program that she had a very difficult two weeks before worlds, including “out-of-nowhere accidents and coincidences that could have prevented me from being here,” and boot problems that affected her triple Axel. She attempted a triple Axel in the free skate, spinning out of an under-rotated, two-footed landing.

Tennell, who went 19 months between competitions due to foot and ankle injuries in 2021 and 2022, had several jumping errors in the free skate.

“This season has been like one thing after another,” said the 25-year-old Tennell, who plans to compete through the 2026 Winter Games. “I’m really excited to get back and work on some stuff for the new season.”

Earlier, Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates topped the rhythm dance, starting their bid for a first world title in their 12th season together and after three prior world silver or bronze medals.

“We skated as best we possibly could today,” Bates said, according to the ISU, after they tallied the world’s top score this season.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White are the lone U.S. ice dancers to win a world title, doing so in 2011 and 2013.

Worlds continue Friday night (U.S. time) with the free dance, followed Saturday morning with the men’s free skate, live on Peacock and USA Network.

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2023 World Figure Skating Championships results


2023 World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan, top 10 and notable results …

Gold: Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) — 224.61
Silver: Lee Hae-In (KOR) — 220.94
Bronze: Loena Hendrickx (BEL) — 210.42
4. Isabeau Levito (USA) — 207.65
5. Mai Mihara (JPN) — 205.70
6. Kim Chae-Yeon (KOR) — 203.51
7. Nicole Schott (GER) — 197.76
8. Kimmy Repond (SUI) — 194.09
9. Niina Petrokina (EST) — 193.49
10. Rinka Watanabe (JPN) — 192.81
12. Amber Glenn (USA) — 188.33
15. Bradie Tennell (USA) — 184.14

Men (Short Program)
1. Shoma Uno (JPN) — 104.63
2. Ilia Malinin (USA) — 100.38
3. Cha Jun-Hwan (KOR) — 99.64
4. Keegan Messing (CAN) — 98.75
5. Kevin Aymoz (FRA) — 95.56
6. Jason Brown (USA) — 94.17
7. Kazuki Tomono (JPN) — 92.68
8. Daniel Grassl (ITA) — 86.50
9. Lukas Britschgi (SUI) — 86.18
10. Vladimir Litvintsev (AZE) — 82.71
17. Sota Yamamoto (JPN) — 75.48
22. Andrew Torgashev (USA) — 71.41


Gold: Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara (JPN) — 222.16
Silver: Alexa Knierim/Brandon Frazier (USA) — 217.48
Bronze: Sara Conti/Niccolo Macii (ITA) — 208.08
4. Deanna Stellato-Dudek/Maxime Deschamps (CAN) — 199.97
5. Emily Chan/Spencer Howe (USA) — 194.73
6. Lia Pereira/Trennt Michaud (CAN) — 193.00
7. Maria Pavlova/Alexei Sviatchenko (HUN) — 190.67
8. Anastasia Golubova/Hektor Giotopoulos Moore (AUS) — 189.47
9. Annika Hocke/Robert Kunkel (GER) — 184.60
10. Alisa Efimova/Ruben Blommaert (GER) — 184.46
12. Ellie Kam/Danny O’Shea (USA) — 175.59

Ice Dance (Rhythm Dance)
1. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) — 91.94
2. Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA) — 88.21
3. Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) — 87.34
4. Lilah Fear/Lewis Gibson (GBR) — 86.56
5. Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Soerensen (CAN) — 85.59
6. Caroline Green/Michael Parsons (USA) — 78.74
7. Allison Reed/Saulius Ambrulevicius (LTU) — 78.70
8. Juulia Turkkila/Matthias Versluis (FIN) — 76.97
9. Natalie Taschlerova/Filip Taschler (CZE) — 76.56
10. Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko (USA) — 75.24
11. Kana Muramoto/Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) — 72.92

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