Shiffrin Wraps Up Slalom Season With Nine Victories
With a miraculous second run, Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) won her 16th World Cup victory of the season in Saturday’s slalom at the FIS Ski World Cup Finals in Soldeu, Andorra.
Racing under brilliant sunshine on a hard, fast track, Shiffrin finished second in the first run to Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener by .28-seconds, but ahead of Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova by .94-seconds. In the second run, Vlhova laid down a near-perfect run, forcing both Shiffrin and Holdener to fight for the victory. And fight they did.
“The second run was a really big fight,” Shiffrin said. “I already had the (slalom Crystal Globe) where I came here today, so I was just skiing to try to be aggressive. I had some mistakes in both my first and second run, but it was aggressive skiing. The second run, it was just a battle to try and stay in the course, try to be athletic, and keep moving.”
Despite a couple of mistakes on the second run, Shiffrin moved past Vlhova and into the lead by 1.20 seconds, pressuring Holdener to ski aggressive for the victory. But a couple of mistakes, especially on the bottom of the course relegated the Swiss to second. Vlhova settled for third.
“Wendy...had a little mistake on the bottom, sort of the same that I did, but maybe a little bit more, and so I was just seven-hundredths ahead...but it’s just a really amazing day to be racing,” Shiffrin said.
With the victory, Shiffrin equaled Ingemar Stenmark on an all-time record list with 40 World Cup slalom race victories. She also joined Stenmark (8), Vreni Schneider (6) and Marcel Hirscher (6, incl. 2019) on at least six overall World Cup slalom Crystal Globes. With Saturday’s victory, Shiffrin wrapped up an incredible season in slalom, winning eight of the nine World Cup slaloms this season, in addition to her third-straight World Championships slalom title.
Saturday’s race was also the final World Cup slalom race for the legendary Frida Hansdotter of Sweden, who finished fifth and ends her career with six career World Cup victories, including four slalom wins. Hansdotter was also the last women to win the overall World Cup slalom Crystal Globe, besides Shiffrin, in 2016 when Shiffrin was sidelined for a portion of the season with an injury.
“Frida has been at the top for my entire career,” Shiffrin said. “Last time we raced (in Andorra) I think she was on the podium with Marlies (Schild), and Kathrin Zettel. And I remember thinking, someday if I could be on the podium with those girls, it would be a dream. I’m wishing her the best for the future, and I'm so thankful she was there to push me to be better.”
Shiffrin wraps up her World Cup season Sunday with the final giant slalom race of the season where she is in the running for the overall giant slalom Crystal Globe - a career first. She currently leads the World Cup giant slalom standings by 97 points over Vlhova. Shiffrin will secure the ladies' giant slalom crystal globe if she finishes in the top-15 or if Petra Vlhova fails to win the race.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
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*
All streams are available via desktop (NBCSports.com/Live, NBCSports.com/Gold and OlympicChannel.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.