First up, we follow Mikaela Shiffrin and the female technical skiers to Spindleruv Mlyn, Czechia, where two women’s Slalom events were held over the weekend January 28-29, 2023. On Saturday Mikaela Shiffrin raced to her 85th World Cup victory with a 0.60 lead in front of Germany’s Lena Dürr, while third place went to Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener 1.31 seconds behind the American. Spindleruv Mlyn is a special place for Mikaela Shiffrin as it was the location of her World Cup debut at only 15 years of age in 2011. Everybody was wondering if it would also be the place that she would tie with Ingemar Stenmark for the record of most World Cup victories, but on Sunday it was the German who made her own history, by winning her first ever Slalom World Cup, besting the American by a mere 0.06 seconds.
A graceful Shiffrin remarked, “Six tenths is not actually so much time, but Lena has been strong all season, and she deserves to win.” Third place went to Croatian skier Zrinka Ljutic just 0.49 seconds behind Lena Dürr, recording her first ever career World Cup podium at only 19 years. US skier Paula Moltzan collected another 5th on Saturday and 8th on Sunday.
Just a bit further to the south, in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, the Men’s Speed events were held that same weekend, consisting of two Super-G events.The races in Cortina came as replacement to the canceled Super-G events at Gardena, Italy, and Lake Louise, Canada, earlier this season. The women had raced in Cortina just the weekend prior, so the course was prepped and ready to go. Also ‘ready to go’ was Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt, who managed the double hat-trick of winning both Saturday’s and Sunday’s Super-G podium, catapulting the Swiss skier a solid 313 points ahead in the overall 22/23 season standings. Second place went to Aleksander Aamodt Kilde from Norway, who is currently ranked second overall, and third place to Mattia Casse from Italy on Saturday. US skiers Ryan Cochran-Siegle and River Radamus collected FIS points with their 21st and 27th place respectively. On Sunday’s Super-G Odermatt shared the podium with Dominik Paris from Italy in second place and Daniel Hemetsberger from Austria in third place. US skiers Kyle Negomir and Bryce Bennet came 28th and 29th and thus collected valuable FIS points.
Meanwhile across the ocean in Val St Come, Canada, the FIS World Cup Mogul series continued the season with a Moguls and Dual Moguls event. Japan’s Anri Kawimura dominated the women’s field with a victory in both events, dethroning Australia’s Jakara Anthony, who had been skiing in the yellow leader bib thus far this season. Jakara had to settle for second place in the Moguls event while third went to US mogul skier Jaelin Kauf. In the Duals the Women’s podium was completed by Perrine Laffont from France in second and Makayla Gerken Schofield in third, who beat Jaelin Kauf in the small final. It is the British mogul skier’s first career World Cup podium.
The men’s singles was won by legendary Mikael ‘The King’ Kingsbury, who marked his 77th World Cup victory in Canada. Second place went to Sweden’s Walter Wallberg from Sweden and third to Ikuma Horishima, who narrowly beat US mogul skier Nick Page. The duals event was won by Walter Wallberg who beat the Canadian in a dramatic dual that saw the ‘King’ wipe out on the bottom jump, relegating him to second place. Third place went to fellow Swede Filip Gravenfors. The best US mogul skier was Cole McDonald who finished in 7th place.