With a win in Saturday’s World Cup slalom at Ofterschwang, Germany, Mikaela Shiffrin became the first racer to reach 42 career victories on the World Cup circuit before the age of 23.
Shiffrin, who turns 23 on Tuesday but says her body is making her feel older than her age, needed extra physical therapy after Friday’s giant slalom that clinched her second World Cup overall title. She is feeling the effects of 25 World Cup races in 11 countries since October, plus three at the Olympics. Two more races remain for her at the World Cup finals next weekend at Are, Sweden.
“I know I’m only 22 years old but sometimes I feel like I’m 80,” Shiffrin joked at the winner’s news conference Saturday. “I know, that’s going to be some headlines now. It’s the end of the season, I can really, really feel it. Sometimes I wake up and I’m like, ‘Did I leave my leg in my bed? What’s happening to me?’ ”
With Saturday’s victory, Shiffrin clinched her fifth World Cup slalom title in six seasons. Since 2013, the only time she failed to win the slalom title was in 2016 when she missed two months with a knee injury. The win was her 11th this season, her sixth in eight slaloms. She finished second in one slalom and failed to finish another.
The win also moved her into a tie for 10th place on the all-time World Cup list and fifth on the women’s list. She is tied now with Sweden’s Anja Paerson.
Saturday’s race was tight, with Shiffrin finishing just 0.09 of a second ahead of Wendy Holdener of Switzerland in second. Frida Hansdotter of Sweden took third, 0.72 behind. Shiffrin was fastest on the first run but four racers were within a half second of her.
“It was a pretty tight race, so it was not easy to go into the second run and think, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m fine,’ and to just ski,” Shiffrin said. “I felt like I really had to fight for the second run, and I also knew that Wendy had a great run because I could hear the announcers. I wanted to fight my best and see what happened.”
The World Cup finals begin Wednesday with women’s and men’s downhill, and the season concludes next Sunday.