St. Moritz

Mikaela Shiffrin wins World Cup super-G, moves closer to Lindsey Vonn record

Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin earned her first super-G win in nearly three years, her 77th World Cup victory overall to move five shy of Lindsey Vonn‘s female record.

Shiffrin prevailed by 12 hundredths of a second over Italian Elena Curtoni in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Sunday. In her first speed races since March, Shiffrin also finished fourth and sixth in downhills the previous two days.

“I felt very good the last days, but you never know with super-G especially,” Shiffrin said on ORF, adding later, “It is maybe the event that comes the most naturally to me.”

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With her third win in nine starts this season, Shiffrin moved closer to the only two skiers with more career World Cup victories: Vonn (82) and Swede Ingemar Stenmark (86). There are 27 more scheduled World Cup races through the end of this season in March, though Shiffrin is expected to skip some of the remaining speed events.

Shiffrin has wins in all four primary disciplines in the last year — downhill, super-G, giant slalom and slalom. She finished second, second and first in her last three World Cup super-Gs. Her best individual Olympic finish last February also came in the super-G (ninth place).

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup resumes after a Christmas break in Semmering, Austria, for two giant slaloms and a slalom from Dec. 27-29. Shiffrin won four of the last six races in Semmering.

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

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Sofia Goggia wins World Cup downhill with duct tape, day after surgery for smashing gate

Sofia Goggia

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — Italian skier Sofia Goggia gave a thumbs-up with her right hand after dominating the fourth women’s World Cup downhill of the season on Saturday.

Her left hand she could barely move.

Goggia won the race in impressive style, leading runner-up Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia by 0.43 seconds, a day after breaking two fingers when she hit a gate but still finished second in a downhill on the same Corviglia course.

After Friday’s accident, the two-time Olympic downhill medalist went to Milan to have surgery. The Italian ski team said a metal rod and screws were placed inside her hand to stabilize it and her hand wrapped in a cast.

Still, Goggia returned to the Swiss resort for the second downhill.

With her left hand bandaged and the glove attached to her ski pole with yellow duct tape, Goggia was the ninth starter as she seemed not visibly hampered by the injury.

“When I understood today that I could make it, I think there was no girl who was (as) happy as I was today at the start gate. It was not guaranteed that I could be at the start today,” said Goggia, adding the Italian team even considered not putting her on the start list for Saturday’s race.

“I said: ‘Are you crazy? You crazy?’ I don’t give up this way,” Goggia said.

Racing under blue skies and sunshine – in contrast to Friday’s race in snowy and foggy conditions – Goggia charged down the 2.5-kilometer course in her usual gutsy style, not holding back in bumpy turns and jumping higher and further than her rivals.

Goggia finished 0.52 seconds ahead of then-leader Kira Weidle of Germany, and waved and blew kisses to the spectators.

Weidle was later bumped into third place by Stuhec, who earned her first podium in nearly four years. The Slovenian had won the 2017 World downhill title on this course.

Elena Curtoni, who won Friday’s race, finished 1.16 seconds behind in eighth.

Goggia’s third win of the season and 20th overall was briefly threatened by Mikaela Shiffrin.

Starting 21st, the overall World Cup leader was a few hundredths faster than Goggia in the first two sections, but Shiffrin took fewer risks than the Italian in the remainder of her run and finished 0.61 behind in fourth.

“I am really happy with how these last two days have gone with downhill. It was so fun and smooth and flowing,” said Shiffrin, who improved two positions from Friday’s result, when she finished one spot behind American teammate Breezy Johnson.

On Saturday, Johnson came almost two seconds behind Goggia and finished outside the top 20.

Shiffrin was followed by three Austrian racers: Cornelia Hütter, Nina Ortlieb and Mirjam Puchner.

Shiffrin leads the overall standings with 475 points, 50 clear of Goggia and 109 ahead of Wendy Holdener. The Swiss skier finished 32nd and failed to score World Cup points.

“On the one hand I try not to count points constantly, but it is in my mind all the time,” said Shiffrin, who won her fourth overall title last season.

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Sofia Goggia, Olympic downhill champion, breaks fingers in World Cup race

Sofia Goggia

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — It was a bittersweet day for the Italian ski team when Elena Curtoni and Sofia Goggia finished 1-2 in a World Cup downhill held in difficult conditions Friday but Goggia came away with two broken fingers in her left hand.

Goggia, the top downhiller on the circuit, hit her hand on the third gate of the Corviglia course.

Goggia, who won gold and silver in downhill at the last two Olympics, respectively, immediately knew something was wrong and took her glove off in the finish area before having her hand wrapped up.

Video is here.

The Italian team said Goggia broke her index and middle fingers and was being transported to Milan for immediate surgery with the aim of getting her back to St. Moritz by evening to race in another downhill scheduled for Saturday.

“I felt immediately after the impact that something had happened to the hand,” Goggia said. “At the finish I could hardly move it. It’s too bad, because it was a great race. I’ll do everything I can to be ready for Saturday’s downhill.”

It was a similar scenario to when Curtoni won her previous race in Cortina d’Ampezzo last season and Goggia crashed two weeks before the Beijing Olympics, injuring a ligament in her left knee and sustaining a light fracture in that leg. Goggia still managed to come back in time to to win a silver medal at the games.

“It’s too bad, because it would be great to share the celebration and anthem with her,” Curtoni said. “It seems like a curse when I win that something happens to her. I’m not doing it on purpose, I swear.”

Curtoni was the second starter and took advantage of better conditions in her run to edge Goggia by 0.29 seconds on a course that was shortened due to overnight snowfall.

The race was interrupted immediately before Goggia was due to start with the No. 10 bib after a course worker fell and had to be helped off the piste — prompting a delay of more than five minutes.

The delay meant that the ongoing snowfall covered up the racing line, while fog also moved in over the middle of the course.

Still, Goggia — who had won the opening two downhills of the season — was the only racer who came close to challenging Curtoni.

Reigning Olympic champion Corinne Suter of Switzerland finished third on home snow, 0.73 behind, and was the only racer to join Curtoni during the podium festivities with Goggia already headed away for medical exams.

Americans Breezy Johnson and Mikaela Shiffrin finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

Shiffrin, the overall World Cup leader, was racing the downhill in St. Moritz for the first time.

“That was my top form for today so I’m very happy with that,” Shiffrin said. “I felt like I didn’t risk something.”

It was the third career win for Curtoni, who finished fifth in the Beijing Olympics downhill last season.

Curtoni, who grew up in an area of northern Italy just across the border, achieved the first podium result of her career by placing third in a downhill at St. Moritz in 2016. She also finished second in a super-G in St. Moritz last season. So now three of her nine career podium results have come at the Swiss resort.

“I really like it here,” Curtoni said. “My original home is right behind this mountain.”

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