Shiffrin Blown Back to Giant Slalom Bronze
Sometimes you ski like the wind, other times you ski straight into it. Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) experienced both scenarios in Thursday’s FIS World Alpine Ski Championships giant slalom in Are, Sweden, on her way to winning a bronze medal, her second medal of the 2019 Championships.
“Everyone was dealing with wind, and it was kind of a strange race with tough conditions,” said Shiffrin. “It’s an outdoor sport - weather is one of the many variables you can’t control. The wind was challenging, but the surface was also soft. It kind of reminded me of the Semmering (Austria) GS. I was thinking in between runs how bummed I was after Semmering, where I ended up fifth. It was a terrible race for me...so I wanted to fight for it. So today it was like redemption for that, in a way. As far as the weather goes, it is what it is.”
But it wasn’t just Shiffrin who had to battle the stiff, swirling winds that were blowing straight up the mountain. France’s Tessa Worley faced a full-on gust in her second run that was so strong it blew over a volunteer who was trying to hold onto one of the sponsor banners. Race officials also removed the overhead finish line banners for the second run due to the wind.
Starting bib 3, Shiffrin finished fourth in the opening run, .44-seconds off the pace set by Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg. In the second run, she displayed her usual hard-charging finishing form to take the lead with three racers remaining as the swirling wind continued. Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel was first, but she couldn’t knock Shiffrin out of the lead and eventually finished fourth. Up next, Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova laid down an ace to knock Shiffrin back to second and put the pressure on Rebensburg. However, the German lost a considerable amount of time in the last split and came up 0.14-second short and settled for the silver medal. The gold for Vlhova was her first career World Championship victory, adding to the silver medal she won in the alpine combined last week in Are.
Having a bronze is quite exciting,” said Shiffrin, after earning her sixth World Championships medal dating back to 2013. “At times, for me, if it’s not gold it feels disappointing, but bronze doesn’t feel like that for me today. Sometimes a bronze medal feels as sweet as gold.”
Nina O'Brien (San Francisco, Calif.), competing in her first World Championships, finished 28th.
Shiffrin has one more opportunity for a medal at the 2019 Championship when she goes for a record-fourth-straight gold in Saturday’s slalom.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Friday, Feb. 15
8:00 a.m. - FIS World Alpine Championships men’s giant slalom run 1 - Are, SWE - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
11:00 a.m. - FIS World Alpine Championships men’s giant slalom run 2 - Are, SWE - NBCSN, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
Saturday, Feb. 16
5:00 a.m. - FIS World Alpine Championships women’s slalom run 1 - Are, SWE - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - FIS World Alpine Championships women’s slalom run 1 - Are, SWE - NBCSN*
8:00 a.m. - FIS World Alpine Championships women’s slalom run 2 - Are, SWE - NBCSN OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
1:00 p.m. - FIS World Alpine Championships women’s slalom - Are, SWE - NBC*
Sunday, Feb. 17
5:00 a.m. - FIS World Alpine Championships men’s slalom run 1 - Are, SWE - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - FIS World Alpine Championships men’s slalom run 1 - Are, SWE - NBCSN*
8:00 a.m. - FIS World Alpine Championships men’s slalom run 2 - Are, SWE - NBCSN OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
All streams are available via desktop (NBCSports.com/Live, NBCSports.com/Gold andOlympicChannel.com) as well as mobile, tablet and connected television platforms. The NBC Sports app, NBC Sports Gold app and Olympic Channel app are available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Exclusive commercial-free coverage will be available for subscribers of the NBC Sports Gold Pass.