Mikaela Shiffrin is unstoppable. After tying with Ingemar Stenmark yesterday, Mikaela Shiffrin swept through the Slalom course like a tornado today in Åre, Sweden, winning her 87th World Cup with a lead of 0.92 seconds ahead of second placed Wendy Holdener from Switzerland.
Shiffrin is seemingly in a league of her own. “It’s okay to be second or third if she is there,” Wendy Holdener admitted in an interview with Swiss TV station SRF.
Favorites going into the Slalom race on March 11, 2023, in Sweden, were US ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin, Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener, and Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova. Wendy Holdener, who is currently ranked second in the 22/23 Slalom rankings, was first out of the gate, taking the lead with 51.87 seconds. Third-ranked Petra Vlhova made a mistake on the lower section, causing her to go way too low around the pole, costing her valuable seconds and pushing her out of any chance for a top five position in the first run. US ski racer Paula Moltzan was fourth starter and put down a great time of 52.20, but not good enough to take the lead from Holdener. Mikaela Shiffrin was fifth starter on the first run, and the American once again managed to make it look effortless as she weaved herself past the slalom poles, taking the lead from Holdener by almost an entire second.
Only the top 30 skiers qualify for a second run in Slalom, which is held in reverse order, meaning Shiffrin would go last on the second run. The combined times of both runs count. Favorite Petra Vlhova, unfortunately, made two mistakes on her second run as well. She missed a pole entirely in the second mistake, resulting in a DNF for the Slovakian. It is a disappointing end for the Slovakian to an otherwise successful season. She won the Slalom against Shiffrin in Flachau, Austria, earlier this year and has podiumed a total of eight times in 22/23.
Wendy Holdener, who was third in the first run, put down a solid second run, catapulting herself into first place. Anna Swenn Larsson from Sweden came into the second run in rank two, 0.69 seconds behind Shiffrin, but narrowly missed out on beating Holdener in the second run and was relegated to third place, just 0.03 seconds behind the Swiss. US skier Paula Moltzan was pushed down to fourth place.
Shiffrin, as last starter, put down a flawless second run that was a pleasure to watch. The US skier weaved down without any major mistakes, crossing the finish line a sold 0.92 seconds ahead of Holdener. As she crossed the finish line and the realization sank in that she had just made history by winning her 87th World Cup, Shiffrin sank into a crouch on her skis, letting the emotions wash over her.
It is the rare combination of her sheer ability and incredible consistency that makes Mikaela Shiffrin the greatest skier of all time. Her dominance is absolutely unprecedented in Alpine sport. Mikaela is only 27 years old and it has taken her 11 years to accumulate these 86 victories. It took Ingemar Stenmark 15 years from 1975 to 1989 to accumulate the same 86 victories. He was 33 when he retired. At the rate Mikaela is going, she will easily get to 100 victories — a number that Ingemar Stenmark also sees possible for the American skier.
“She’s much better than I was, you cannot compare,” Stenmark told the Associated Press in an interview, “Mikaela already won in Super-G and Downhill, She’s a complete skier, an all rounder. […] Four years ago I predicted Mikaela would win 100 races and you can tell I was right. […] She’s a fantastic skier and she doesn’t remind me of anyone from the past because she’s writing her own new beautiful story.”
3 thoughts on “U.S. Ski Racer Mikaela Shiffrin Crowns Herself the GOAT of Alpine Racing in Åre, Sweden, Winning Her 87th World Cup”
Webb you’re just pushing the American ‘I need desperately to be the best’ narrative. I say she’s the best female and will hit over 100 wins, we euros don’t care about comparing apples and bananas.
K needs to get out of Idiot mode. Stenmark has already said Mikaela is the greatest skier in history. She’s still winning and Stenmark says he would not be surprised if she goes on and finishes with 100 WC victories.
The only thing surprising to me is that Ingemar Stenmark, who lives in Sweden where his record was just broken, wasn’t there to present the medal !
Jesus f’n christo stop you American idiots comparing her to men. She couldn’t win one race against men. Foreran some women’s WC downhills and super G’s, and GS, I, yes I beat them all by several seconds. Also fore ran men’s WC downhill and super G, the winners crushed me! Love MS but stop with the hyperbole.