Resi Stiegler

Mikaela Shiffrin wins 5th straight World Cup, longest streak in 20 years

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More history for Mikaela Shiffrin, one of the world’s most dominant athletes in any sport.

She became the first Alpine skier to win five straight World Cup races in 20 years on Tuesday, coming from behind at a night slalom in Flachau, Austria.

Shiffrin won for the eighth time in nine races overall, prevailing by .94 of a second combining times from two runs over Austrian Bernadette Schild.

Schild led Shiffrin by .37 after the first run, when Shiffrin said her timing was off. Shiffrin’s coach, Mike Day, set the course for the second run.

“This was the first time [this season] that I was coming from behind in the first run, and I had to make a statement,” she said, according to The Associated Press. “That was really important for me, a really big checkmark on the way to the Olympics because when we are there, anything can happen, and I want to be mentally prepared for all those possibilities.”

Two of Shiffrin’s closest slalom rivals — Slovak Petra Vlhova and Swiss Wendy Holdener — skied out in the first run.

Full results are here.

Shiffrin became the first man or woman to win five straight World Cup races since German Katja Seizinger in 1997.

She also tied Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell‘s record for most World Cup wins before turning 23, grabbing her 41st career victory and 10th this season.

Lindsey Vonn, the female record holder with 78 victories, had seven at this age.

Shiffrin is favored to win three gold medals in PyeongChang (slalom, giant slalom, super combined), which would match the record for an Alpine skier at one Olympics.

All of Shiffrin’s eight wins in this nine-race span have been in slalom (or some variation) and giant slalom.

The Coloradoan grabbed gold in Sochi as the youngest Olympic slalom champion ever. She since matured into the world’s best all-around skier, taking last year’s World Cup overall title and running away in this year’s standings.

The women’s World Cup continues with a downhill and super-G in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, on Saturday and Sunday, live on Olympic Channel.

Vonn will headline those races, which Shiffrin is expected to skip.

Shiffrin picks and chooses speed events where she feels comfortable. She is expected to race the following weekend’s downhill and super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

Also Tuesday, Resi Stiegler became the third U.S. female Alpine skier to qualify for PyeongChang, joining Shiffrin and Megan McJames.

Stiegler, 32, has a best finish of 11th from two previous Olympics.

She has a best finish this season of 14th and last made a World Cup podium in 2012, but qualified for the Olympics as the second-best U.S. slalom skier behind Shiffrin this season.

Vonn and other speed racers can qualify the next two weekends.

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U.S. Alpine skiing team nominations for 2014-15 announced

Lindsey Vonn
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Lindsey VonnMikaela ShiffrinJulia MancusoTed Ligety and Bode Miller were among 38 athletes nominated to the U.S. Ski Team for the 2014-15 season on Wednesday.

Vonn, 29, aims to return from January knee surgery for the first speed races of the World Cup season in December, a little over one month after the campaign starts with a giant slalom in Soelden, Austria.

Shiffrin, 19, hopes to build off winning Olympic gold and the World Cup season title in the slalom. Her next goals include winning her first World Cup giant slalom race and perhaps entering her first super-G events, in particular at the 2015 World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo., in February.

Mancuso, 30, is coming off an interesting season. She won Olympic bronze in the super combined but did not finish higher than 15th in any World Cup discipline.

Ligety, 29, at last won Olympic giant slalom gold in Sochi. His aspirations are even higher on the World Cup circuit, though. He wants to win an overall title, combining results from all disciplines. He’ll have to improve from third and fourth the last two years and knock off three-time reigning champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria.

Miller, 36, became the oldest Olympic Alpine skiing medalist ever with his super-G bronze in Sochi. Next season will likely be his last before retiring.

The 38 nominations did not include two-time Olympian Resi Stiegler, one of the top U.S. technical skiers for the last decade when healthy. Stiegler, 28, was 30th in the World Cup slalom start last standings after last season, five spots shy of the top 25 spot necessary to be renamed to the U.S. A team given her age.

Stiegler was not given a discretionary selection, but three-time Olympians Steven Nyman and Marco Sullivan did earn discretionary B team spots while being outside of the top 30 in World Cup start list standings, according to Ski Racing Magazine.

“Marco Sullivan, you look at his career and what he’s done for American ski racing and also the year he had last year where he was consistently skiing pretty well, at the same time got unlucky in a couple races, just off the mark,” U.S. men’s coach Sasha Rearick said, according to Ski Racing. “He’s still top 30 in the world. For sure, he has 100 percent support of the entire group of guys to be named to the team. And Steve Nyman, in a similar situation. He was skiing well early in the season, took a big crash and was a little out of sorts but came back skiing stronger. Both guys, when you look at their historical performances over the years, they’ve built up a credibility that we fully support them being named to the team.”

The 2014-15 U.S. Ski Team will be formally named in the fall.

Top U.S. pairs team splits

Mikaela Shiffrin beaten in U.S. Championships slalom

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Mikaela Shiffrin is the Olympic, world and World Cup champion in the slalom. She is not the U.S. champion. A Canadian is.

Shiffrin, 19, failed to finish the first of two runs at the National Championships in Squaw Valley, Calif., on Saturday.

“I felt like I just got going a little bit too fast, and I didn’t move my feet quick enough,” Shiffrin said, according to The Associated Press. “In inspection, I saw this section of the course, and I’m like, ‘Oh, you can let it rip there. The finish is in sight.’ So I let it go. I just let it go a little bit too much and got a little bit out of balance. I’m bummed that I don’t get a second run.”

Shiffrin the 2011 and 2012 U.S. slalom champion, also failed to finish in 2013.

Canada’s best all-around skier, Marie-Michele Gagnon, won instead Saturday. Gagnon edged two-time U.S. Olympian Resi Stiegler by .01 of a second. Skiers from other countries are allowed to enter U.S. Championships.

Gagnon had five World Cup podium finishes in slalom this season and was 10th at the Sochi Olympics.

U.S. Olympian David Chodounsky won the men’s slalom Saturday.

NBC will broadcast a recap of the U.S. Alpine Championships on Sunday at noon ET.

Sochi Olympic champion receives meteorite medal