On a sunny Wednesday, January 25, 2023, in Kronplatz, Italy, Mikaela Shiffrin dominated the Women’s Giant Slalom course a second day in a row, taking home the 84th World Cup career title. This puts her only two more victories away from tying with Ingemar Stenmark.
After the first run, Mikaela was in the lead by more than half a second ahead of Sweden’s Sara Hector in second place and Italy’s Marta Bassino in third. Mikaela had praised the race course preparation on Tuesday, humbly crediting the volunteers and course officials for contributing to her becoming the most successful female Alpine skier. The Local Organization Committee (‘LOC’) put their best foot forward again because the course agreed with Mikaela again.
The second Giant-Slalom run is run in reverse order of the results of the top 30 skiers from the first run, meaning Mikaela was the last to ski a second time.
Ragnhild Mowinckel was fourth after the first run and put down a smashing second run, catapulting her into the leader position with the top three skiers still to race.
Yesterday Marta Bassino was wearing the red leader bib, and she was giving it her all to win it back. The Italian, who is nicknamed ‘the butterfly,’ was in great form and was poised to make the podium, but got her arm caught on one of the last gates, causing her to ski into the red gate below and was hit by it in the shin, ending her run just four gates from the finish line.
Sara Hector, an Olympic winner in Giant Slalom in Beijing, was next up and going for the lead but made some minor errors in the middle section and was unable to best Mowinckel’s combined time, which meant 3rd place for her.
As the last starter, Mikaela skated off the gates and weaved her way down the course in her usual graceful yet lightning-fast style. Despite minor errors, the American took the lead with an incredible 0.82 seconds ahead of the Norwegian and 1.19 seconds ahead of the Swede. An exhausted Shiffrin fell to the ground in the finish area and was pulled up by the Scandinavians for the quick finisher announcement and picture. She looked exhausted after her back-to-back win at the Kronplatz course, but we hope she will regain some energy for the medal ceremony in town later.
Next, the Women’s World Cup circuit moves to Spindleruv Mlyn, Czechia, on January 28-29, 2023, for a Giant-Slalom event and a Slalom event, leaving little time for the women’s tech team to get some rest. We hope the tight schedule does not take its toll on the skiers’ performance over the next few days. It is also a World Championship year, adding competitions to the calendar in February these skiers will not want to miss.