Shiffrin Surprise - Super-G Victory No. 2
Sunshine and grippy snow feel like home for Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.), and so does the top step of the podium. For the 47th time in her career, Shiffrin enjoyed the view from the top step following her second-consecutive FIS Ski World Cup super-G victory in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Saturday.
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 based on what my coaches said, and my skis were perfect and the feeling was good. So it worked out in the end!"
“Two-tenths, that’s not a lot of time, but I’m on the right side of the green light today, so I can enjoy that,” she added.
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. So I came to this race thinking ‘OK, I have this confidence and I know what I’m doing with my skis,’ now we can see if we can do the same tactic. But, it was tricky with some of the sections in this course. If you were off balance, then there was no chance. But with a good position, you were OK.”
For Saturday's race, Shiffrin was attempting to approach it with the same mentality, "I was trying to forget that I won a race, and forget the expectations and just ski my best with the right line. It was a bit trickier today, there were some spots on the course so I tried to be a bit smarter. My coaches gave me a really good report - I was going bib 12, so that was also lucky...and I'm grateful that I had some time to think about the course and exactly what I wanted to do. When things are going in a good direction and I feel confident, then every race I feel better and better and my skiing can go from slalom to super-G to GS to downhill to city event [she giggles] and it kind of works. It doesn't always stay, and it's a tricky balance, but I'm trying to enjoy it and we'll see what happens."
While World Cup super-G victory No. two came in only her 10th-career super-G start, don’t expect Shiffrin to dive into a full speed schedule. “I’ll pick and choose which ones seem to be appropriate,” she said.
Laurenne Ross (Bend. Ore.) was 27th and Alice Merryweather (Hingham, Mass.) was 39th.
Shiffrin, the two-time defending overall World Cup Champion, extended her World Cup overall lead to 293 points over Michelle Gisin of Switzerland, and 324 points over Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinkel. Shiffrin also leads the World Cup super-G and slalom standings.
Up next, the women compete in a parallel slalom Sunday at St. Moritz.
WORLD CUP STANDINGS
Mikaela Shiffrin Victory Press Conference
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST.
*Same-day delayed broadcast
Sunday, Dec. 8
12:30 a.m. - Women’s super-G, St. Moritz, SUI - NBCSN-TV**
3:15 a.m. - Men’s slalom, run 1 - Val d’Isere, FRA - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
4:15 a.m. - Women’s parallel slalom qualifying, St. Moritz, SUI - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
6:15 a.m. - Men’s slalom, run 2 - Val d’Isere, FRA - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - Women’s parallel slalom, St. Moritz, SUI - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. - Women’s parallel slalom, St. Moritz, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV
5:00 p.m. - Women’s parallel slalom, St. Moritz, SUI - NBCSN-TV*