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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Shiffrin Takes Sixth in Kranjska Gora; Personal Best for O’Brien

By Courtney Harkins
January, 16 2021
Mikaela Shiffrin Kranjska Gora
Mikaela Shiffrin skis to sixth place in the Kranjska Gora giant slalom. (Getty Images/AFP - Jure Makovec)

Battling a brutally icy giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Mikaela Shiffrin was the top Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete, finishing in sixth place. Nina O’Brien snagged a career-best giant slalom finish in 13th.

In the race that was originally scheduled for Maribor, Slovenia but moved due to a lack of snow, Marta Bassino of Italy took the win by .80 seconds and storied Golden Fox Trophy. Tessa Worley of France was second and Michelle Gisin of Switzerland stood on her first FIS World Cup giant slalom podium in third.

After a stellar first run for both Shiffrin and O'Brien, who sat in fourth and seventh respectively, both struggled a bit on the boilerplate track in second run. But the Burke Mountain Academy graduates held on—linking recoveries and hammering down the hill to score solid results.

“It was definitely very challenging—the surface especially. It was super icy,” said O'Brien. “First run, I felt super happy with my run because I felt like I didn’t do anything special. It wasn’t some skiing I’ve never done before—it was just how I skied in training. To see that the speed was good enough and stacked up well in a race was cool. Second run was a total rodeo mess, but I’m glad I hung on and made it. Not so bad if it’s another personal best.”

Prior to Kranjska Gora, Nina’s best giant slalom result was 15th, which she notched in Soelden in October, and she’s been consistently in the hunt in tech events throughout the 2020-21 season—finishing 19th in the Courchevel GS and ninth in the Semmering slalom. The 23 year old knows that more top 10s are in her future and even a podium isn’t out of the question.

Though Shiffrin was bummed, she said she's "super happy for Nina...her first run was especially motivational." 

AJ Hurt was having a fast first run, but went down on her hip and just missed the flip.

O'Brien and Hurt's coach, Magnus Andersson was happy with the day, despite the fact that Hurt just missed the flip. "Good day!" he said. "Step-by-step...and nice to experience the heat of starting next to some of the world's best GS skiers second run!"

Next up, the women race giant slalom in Kranjska Gora again on Sunday. “I’m excited to do it again,” said Nina. “I know a little bit of what to expect, so it should be fun.”

RESULTS
Women’s giant slalom

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Jan. 16-18, 2021 

Saturday, Jan. 16
3:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Slalom, run 1 - LIVE, Flachau, AUT, Streaming Peacock
5:00 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Giant Slalom, run 1 - LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Streaming Peacock
6:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Flachau, AUT, Broadcast Olympic Channel
6:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Flachau, AUT, Streaming Peacock
8:00 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Giant Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Broadcast Olympic Channel
8:00 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Giant Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Streaming Peacock

Sunday, Jan. 17
3:15 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Giant Slalom, run 1 - LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Streaming Peacock
4:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Slalom, run 1 - LIVE, Flachau, AUT, Streaming Peacock
6:15 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Giant Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Broadcast Olympic Channel
6:15 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Giant Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Streaming Peacock
7:45 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Flachau, AUT, Broadcast Olympic Channel
7:45 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Slalom, run 2 - LIVE, Flachau, AUT, Streaming Peacock

Monday, Jan. 18
11:00 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women's Giant Slalom - next-day broadcast, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Broadcast NBCSN