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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Shiffrin Seeks More Champagne Showers at Grandvalira

By Megan Harrod
March, 12 2019
Mikaela Shiffrin Goes for Two More Globes
Mikaela Shiffrin will go for two more globes at Grandvalira in Andorra at World Cup Finals. (Agence Zoom/Getty Images - Alexis Boichard)

Nestled in a small valley that sits between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains, the tiny country of Andorra plays host to the FIS Ski World Cup Finals March 11-17.

Eight athletes, headlined by two-time Olympic champion and three-time World Cup overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) will represent U.S. Ski & Snowboard at Grandvalira in Soldeu-El Tarter ski areas for the final week of World Cup competition. The top 25 ranked skiers in each discipline are invited to World Cup Finals, as well as gold medal winners from Junior World Ski Championships in each discipline. Additionally, athletes with more than 500 points in the overall standings, can choose to start in any event.

With the sun shining down and the perfectly prepared track, the athletes are looking forward to spring skiing in Andorra to put a cherry on top of a long season. It’s been a historic season for Shiffrin, who has already locked in the overall and slalom globes - and just about every record imaginable - and she’ll look to grab two more globes. Shiffrin, who turns 24-years-old on Wednesday, March 13th, enters the Finals with the lead in super-G (by 32 points over Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather) as well as giant slalom (by 97 points over Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova). Ranked 24th, Shiffrin also qualified for downhill but has opted to focus on super-G and giant slalom, where globes are still up for grabs.

After winning her 15th race of this season on Saturday in Špindlerův Mlýn - a new record among men and women for season victories - Shiffrin reflected about the numbers. “It’s not really important for me, but it’s the symbol of the things that are important to me. My goal is to always be strong when I’m in the start gate, to be able to win any race I start in - that’s important to me. The win numbers aren’t crazy-important, but it’s still special.” And, never fear - she still has gas in the tank for Andorra. “I’m still feeling good, I’m feeling motivated...there’s a little bit of energy left in the tank, and I’m enjoying these last races,” Shiffrin said. “It’s beautiful here in Andorra, the training today was perfect - the surface is surprisingly amazing for this time of year - so I’m really looking forward to this final push.”

The men’s team has shown consistency in 2018-19, as they make their way back toward the World Cup podium, with consistently strong results by Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.) and Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.), who are each ranked in the top 10 in their discipline - Bennett ranked sixth in the world in downhill, and Ford ranked eighth in giant slalom. Veterans Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah) and Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley) both have shown promise to deliver in downhill, while Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.) will be one to watch in super-G. Two-time World Juniors champ (super-G and giant slalom) River Radamus (Edwards, Colo.) will also start in the super-G and giant slalom at Finals.

The women’s downhill team - who was the best downhill team in the world during the 2018-19 season - is noticeably missing this year at Finals. With the winningest female alpine skier in history, Lindsey Vonn’s (Vail, Colo.) recent retirement and Breezy Johnson (Victor, Idaho), Alice McKennis (New Castle, Colo.), Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.), Jackie Wiles (Portland, Ore.) all out with injury, the focus for the women turns to 2019-20 when the crew will return to competition.

University of Vermont standout Paula Moltzan (Prior Lake, Minn.), who finished the season with four top-20 results and two top-15 results, opted to sit out the final World Cup in Špindlerův Mlýn, Czech Republic while she competed at NCAAs with her fellow Catamounts, grabbing runner-up in NCAA team results. Moltzan finished the season ranked 27th in the world in slalom, just five points out of qualification for the Finals.

The men kick off the Finals show first, with the downhill on Wednesday.

STARTERS
Bryce Bennett - DH
Ryan Cochran-Siegle - SG|
Tommy Ford - GS
Travis Ganong - DH, SG
Ted Ligety - GS
Steven Nyman - DH
River Radamus - SG, GS
Mikaela Shiffrin - SG, GS, SL

STANDINGS
Men’s Overall
Women’s Overall

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
*Same-day broadcast
**Next-day broadcast

Wednesday, March 13
5:30 a.m. - Men and women’s World Cup Finals downhill - Soldeu, AND - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
12:30 p.m.  - Men and women’s World Cup Finals downhill - Soldeu, AND - NBCSN*

Thursday, March 14
5:30 a.m. - Men and women’s World Cup Finals super-G - Soldeu, AND - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
11:00 a.m.  - Men and women’s World Cup Finals super-G - Soldeu, AND - NBCSN*

Friday, March 15
7:00 a.m. - World Cup Finals team event - Soldeu, AND - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold

Saturday, March 16
4:00 a.m. - World Cup Finals men’s giant slalom run 1 - Soldeu, AND - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. - World Cup Finals women’s slalom run 1 - Soldeu, AND - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - World Cup Finals men’s giant slalom run 2 - Soldeu, AND - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
8:00 a.m. - World Cup Finals women’s slalom run 2 - Soldeu, AND - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold

Sunday, March 17
4:30 a.m. - World Cup Finals women’s giant slalom run 1 - Soldeu, AND - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. - World Cup Finals men’s slalom run 1 - Soldeu, AND - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - World Cup Finals women’s giant slalom 2 - Soldeu, AND - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
8:00 a.m. - World Cup Finals men’s slalom run 2 - Soldeu, AND - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
3:30 p.m. - World Cup Finals women’s giant slalom - Soldeu, AND - NBCSN*