Unstoppable Mikaela Shiffrin Claims World Cup Victories 47 and 48

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Mikaela Shiffrin, World Cup, giant slalom, parallel slalom
Mikaela Shiffrin won her second-consecutive FIS Ski World Cup super-G in Saint Moritz, Switzerland, Saturday. Credit: Getty Image/AFP – Fabrice Coffrini

The unstoppable Mikaela Shiffrin powered her way to World Cup victories 47 and 48 over the weekend in St. Moritz, Switzerland. She followed up her career-first Audi FIS Ski World Cup super-G win in Lake Louise with a second one less than a week later on Saturday, then she fired up victory number 48 in Sunday’s FIS Ski World Cup parallel slalom – her third-straight World Cup victory.

The defending Overall champion and current overall leader skied another near flawless run under sunshine and blue skies to claim her 47th career World Cup victory. Coming out of the 12th starting position, Shiffrin watched three starters in front of her DNF, and that proved a huge advantage as she squeaked-out a 0.28-second victory over Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami in second, with Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein in third.

“I did not expect to win today,” Shiffrin said. “I just tried to execute the right plan and what my coaches said, and my skis were perfect and the feeling was good. So it worked at the end”.

While Shiffrin’s back-to-back super-G wins may have surprised a lot of people, it’s been a calculated effort for her and her team following a summer that included super-G and downhill training in Chile. But most importantly, her comfort level has increased with speed events.

“In Lake Louise, I felt good; my skis felt great,” she said. “The inspection in the morning we chose a really great line and then I was just going down the mountain the way that I wanted. I could do what I wanted with my skis.

Mikaela Shiffrin, World Cup, giant slalom, parallel slalom
Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova and Mikaela Shiffrin in the finals of the FIS Ski World Cup parallel slalom in St Moritz, Switzerland, Sunday. Credit: Getty Images/Agence Zoom – Christophe Pallot

On Sunday, for the parallel slalom, the athletes skied through a variety of conditions throughout the day ranging from heavy snow during the qualifying run inspection to sunshine to blowing snow by the time the race concluded. The race crew worked tirelessly to keep a total of three tracks in great shape for the competitors.
Facing Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova in the finals – a rematch of last season’s parallel finals in Courchevel, France – Shiffrin, and Vlhova were neck-and-neck out of the gate. Then Shiffrin made an uncharacteristic mistake when she got off-balance coming through a right ski turn. The mistake knocked her back on her tails, allowing Vhlova to take the lead. But in Shiffrin’s trademark hard-finishing fashion, she hit the afterburners, pulled even with Vhlova and then squeaked through with a 0.11-second victory on the 32-gate course.

“It was a big fight, especially in the final,” Shiffrin said. “I was really going crazy, maybe a little bit too hard. I felt like I was a bit off the course and I could see Petra always on my side going a little bit ahead…and I was thinking ‘Oh no, go faster!’”

Shiffrin has won five of the nine World Cup events contested so far this season and holds a commanding lead in her quest for her third-straight overall World Cup title. She also leads the slalom and super-G standings. She will not compete in the upcoming speed events, moved from Val d’Isere, France, to Val Gardena, Italy the week of Dec. 18-23, as she plans to enjoy some “downtime” and continue training for the traditional holiday series of tech events, kicking off Dec. 21-22 in Courchevel, France, and then onward to Semmering, Austria Dec. 28-29; a city event Jan. 1 in Oslo, Norway; and continuing Jan. 5, 6-8 in Zagreb, Croatia.

Shiffrin also donated a portion of her weekend’s St. Moritz prize money toward former Head of Swiss Ski Team and two-time president of Switzerland’s Adolf Ogi’s “Freude Herrscht” Foundation, created in his late son Mathias Ogi’s (who died at age 36 due to cancer) honor. “Freude Herrscht” translates to “happiness rules” or “joy prevails,” and the foundation supports developing youth through sports participation.

The ladies next race downhill and super-G at Val Gardena/Gröden on 18-19th December.

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One thought on “Unstoppable Mikaela Shiffrin Claims World Cup Victories 47 and 48

  1. Lindsey Who?
    Thanks SnowBrains for reporting on World Cup ski racing. Lindsey Vonn might pass Ingemar Stenmark for the all time most World Cup wins but Mikaela will surpass both of them before the ink is dry in the record book.

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