Shiffrin and Vonn Crash at Aspen GS
ASPEN, CO (Nov. 27, 2015)—It was a crushing day at the Aspen Winternational, as both Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) and Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) both crashed and did not finish.
As the snow fell early during the second run of giant slalom, Shiffrin looked poised to take the first American victory in Aspen since Tamara McKinney won the same race in 1984. Lara Gut of Switzerland sat in third after the completion of the first run, a distant 0.96 seconds behind Shiffrin’s opening pace. Undaunted by the increasing snowfall, Gut took to the course and executed a fearless and aggressive second run, coming through the finish with a slim 0.10-second lead over last year’s GS winner, Eva Maria Brem of Austria. After Italian Frederica Brignone was unable to hold her leading margin from the start, slipping to third, one racer stood between Gut and another World Cup win.
Even with a commanding 0.96-second lead after run one, Shiffrin wasn’t about to hold back. Her lead was cut to 0.68 seconds at the final interval, but she appeared destined for the win by a respectable margin with the finish line in sight and just a few gates across the flat left to navigate.
Shiffrin, however, never made it across the finish line on her run. Getting caught going too straight on the final gates and trapped with her weight too far inside, her feet were swept out from beneath her as she slid downhill on her side. Shiffrin’s crash just before the finish effectively handed the victory to Gut with Brem finishing second and Brignone third.
After her uncharacteristic exit, Shiffrin was understandably disappointed yet also optimistic. “I felt kind of scrappy that run. I definitely didn’t feel great, but I was fighting really hard and I’m proud of that. Two gates from the finish, I was like ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I made it this far!’” said Shiffrin. “You should never, ever think that because immediately something bad will happen.”
However, the always-positive Shiffrin was still confident about future GS races. “As heartbreaking as it is to know that my times were so fast and that I was so close to the finish, it’s a confidence-booster,” said Shiffrin. “It’s not like I skied conservatively and lost two seconds and lost the win—I’ve done that before and that’s really hard to get over. It was a stupid mistake and I know I’m skiing well and when I bring out my best skiing. It was really good practice today.”
While Vonn was seen as another contender for the GS win, her ski popped off part way down the course. “My ski came off! I don’t know. It wasn’t even really bumpy, so I’m kind of perplexed on how it actually happened. It’s never happened to me in a race before, so to have it happen in Aspen is definitely disappointing,” said Vonn. “Next week is Lake Louise, so I’m just going to move on and focus on that.”
The only other American competing was Megan McJames (Park City, UT), but did not qualify for a second run.
The women will contest the make-up slalom from Levi tomorrow at Aspen with the first run starting at 10:15 a.m. MT. U.S. fans can tune into NBCSN to watch the second run live starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.
- After leading first run by .11 seconds, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) crashed just before the finish on her second run at the Aspen Winternational GS.
- Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) fell first run after losing her ski.
- Lara Gut of Switzerland took first, Eva-Marie Brem of Austria was second and Federica Brignone of Italy was third.
- Megan McJames (Park City, UT) did not qualify for a second run.
- The women will race the make-up slalom from Levi tomorrow at Aspen with the first run starting at 10:15 a.m. MT. Fans can tune into NBCSN to watch the second run live starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.
I’m going to look at the video and I’m sure I’ll see what I could have done better—like second to last gate, stay on your outside ski! Some of the basics. But I think I’m starting to feel in my GS that survival-mode, where you’re going as hard as you can. Normally I’m thinking so much about everything, I don’t make silly mistakes or mindless mistakes, but at the same time I’m not that fast. I’m starting to substitute speed for being able to ski perfect all the time. Now, it’s about getting used to that speed and being able to handle it. I’m not going to make that mistake ever again…It was an inexcusable mistake for somebody that’s able to win and going for it. But at the same time, it’s a good lesson.
It was definitely dark, but it was more of a brainfart and then the darkness played a role. Whereas, if it was great visibility, maybe I would have pulled it off. Or if I didn’t have the brainfart, maybe I wouldn’t have made the mistake in the first place.
As heartbreaking as it is to know that my times were so fast and that I was so close to the finish, it’s a confidence-booster. It’s not like I skied conservatively and lost two seconds and lost the win—I’ve done that before and that’s really hard to get over. It was a stupid mistake and I know I’m skiing well and when I bring out my best skiing. It was really good practice today.
My ski came off! I don’t know. It wasn’t even really bumpy, so I’m kind of perplexed on how it actually happened. It’s never happened to me in a race before, so to have it happen in Aspen is definitely disappointing. But shi*t happens! Next week is Lake Louise, so I’m just going to move on and focus on that. I’m fine—just super annoying.
I felt really good. I haven’t trained a lot of GS in the last couple of weeks because I missed Chile. I’ve been focusing more on speed. But yesterday training in Vail with the Austrian guys, I was really fast. I felt really good, really confident. I think I was a little bit nervous—GS isn’t my strongest event. I’m not quite as confident in myself as I should be maybe, and it took me a couple gates to really get into it. But once I hit the flat, I got into a good rhythm and was starting to attack and then my ski came off.
Women’s GS results
On site reporting courtesy of Ski Racing.