Shiffrin On Top in St. Moritz Downhill; Wright Top 15
On Saturday’s women’s downhill in St. Moritz, Stifel U.S. Ski Team member and winningest skier of all time Mikaela Shiffrin notched her fourth downhill victory, 91st World Cup win and 142nd World Cup podium. Stifel U.S. Ski Team member Bella Wright also started her downhill season strong with a 12th place finish.
The day started out beautiful and sunny with a solid snow surface for the competitors. Shiffrin ran bib three and immediately took the top spot, skiing an aggressive and clean line to nail the pitch and rollers. The fiercest downhill competitor, Sofia Goggia of Italy, came just a few skiers later, also skiing an gutsy line. She came in just 0.15 behind Shiffrin, giving Shiffrin the clear lead and eventual win. Goggia ultimately took second place with Italian teammate Federica Brignone in third.
“Today was amazing,” said Shiffrin. “I felt so good with my plan and my skiing. The biggest challenge for me was to trust that if I don’t ski the perfect line I can still dive into the turn with confidence.”
Wright ran just after Shiffrin with bib four. She also took an aggressive approach, executing the pitch perfectly and punching it to the line with a competitive time, ending the day in 12th place.
“Today was a big stepping stone for me,” said Wright. “I've been having some interesting training days and I’ve been trying to lay down an aggressive run so I was happy to make it to the finish with a smile on my face.”
The action continued for the Stifel U.S. Ski Team with Alice Merryweather set to make her official return to World Cup skiing running bib 33. The weather began to turn just a few racers before her run with the sun going behind the clouds, making the visibility extremely poor and dangerous for speed. The race still ran as planned for Merryweather and she made it down to the finish.
“It was probably one of the scariest runs I’ve ever done,” said Merryweather. “It was so dark so it was not what I would have wanted as my first run back, but I am also really proud I made it down and if I can get through that hopefully I can ski almost anything."
As Merryweather crossed the finish line she was overcome with emotion as she made her return to the circuit after more than three years off the circuit. Her teammates immediately embraced her in the finish area congratulating her for making it back.
“It has been more than three and a half years since I pushed out of a World Cup start gate and I’ve dreamed of this day for so long. There are so many emotions and so much that has helped me become who I am in the past three years,” said Merryweather.
The race was called off right after Merryweather ran due to the extremely poor visibility making it unsafe to continue. However, the race is still considered a valid race.
Jackie Wiles, Keely Cashman, Tricia Mangan and Lauren Macuga all slated to compete did not run due to the midway cancelation.
The women’s speed team will now switch gears to a super-G on Sunday.
HOW TO WATCH (Times in ET)
4:30 a.m. - St. Moritz World Cup, women’s super-G, skiandsnowboard.live