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Second Podium in Two Days for Shiffrin; Moltzan 13th in Courchevel

By Courtney Harkins
December, 22 2021

Mikaela Shiffrin stepped on the giant slalom podium for the second time in two days in Courchevel, France, taking second place and her seventh World Cup top-three of the season. With the second fastest second run, Paula Moltzan was 13th.

It was another gorgeous day in France with the race replacing a canceled GS from November in Killington, Vermont. Finishing ahead of Shiffrin was Sara Hector of Sweden, who was second in Tuesday’s GS and hadn’t won a World Cup in seven years due to injury. It was the first time a Swedish skier had won a World Cup since 2017. Marta Bassino of Italy was third.

“Sharing the podium yesterday with Michelle [Gisin] and Sara yesterday and Marta and Sara winning today—those are two really special podiums,” said Shiffrin. “Amazing athletes and amazing women—they’re some of the most positive and kind people on the World Cup circuit.”

The snow was rough and bumpy on the Emile Allais slope, named after the famous French skier, which caused a few back spasms for Shiffrin on first run. But she gritted it out to third place and did some dry needling and physical therapy for second run to put the pain at bay. And it worked—she came out swinging and put down an aggressive and fast second run to move her up to second place.

Shiffrin was open about battling fatigue throughout the race series. The beginning of her season has been packed with events—Courchevel was her 13th World Cup start this season and her third race in four days. “No more energy!” she laughed. “Even yesterday after the first run, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I have to do this three more times?’ Today was a big physical challenge and it’s also mentally tough too…I knew it was going to be like that after the last weeks, but it’s always a little bit surprising when you get to this point and you feel just totally gassed.”

But Shiffrin knew that she is stronger this season than she’s been before and that she’s skiing close to her potential. She’s had eight podiums over those 13 starts and to pull off another while being this exhausted was remarkable. “To have four runs the last two days that were a lot of really good skiing—today there was some scrappy skiing as well—but even coming close of what I’m able to do was really special,” she added.

After finishing 28th first run and only just qualifying for a second run, Moltzan threw down an unbelievable second run to move up to 13th place. Her second run was the second fastest, beating even Hector and Shiffrin by a few tenths. It was her best giant slalom finish since she first scored points in the 2020-21 season in Soelden, Austria.

AJ Hurt qualified for a second run—finishing an impressive 19th first run—but got late and crashed out of the course. Nina O’Brien did not finish first run. Both are OK. Katie Hensien did not qualify for second run.

The U.S. Alpine Ski Team leads the giant slalom and slalom FIS Nations Cups for the first time since 1983—an unbelievable feat showing a new depth on this tech team.

Shiffrin also maintains the lead of the overall World Cup of 115 points over Italian Sofia Goggia, who did not finish first run.

The women get a holiday break before returning to Lienz, Austria for a slalom and a giant slalom after Christmas.

Women’s giant slalom