Mikaela Shiffrin leads the World Cup slalom at Killington after her opening run, aiming for her 90th career victory

Mikaela Shiffrin set the quickest time in the first run of a women's World Cup slalom on Sunday, setting herself up for a career win of No. 90.


Mikaela Shiffrin leads the World Cup slalom at Killington after her opening run, aiming for her 90th career victory

Mikaela Shiffrin (via People)

In a remarkable display at the women’s World Cup slalom on Sunday, Mikaela Shiffrin dominated the initial run, setting herself up for what was her 90th career victory. The American athlete, who has twice scaled the Olympic summit to gold, galvanized her compatriots with a vigorous performance.

She registered unmatched times in three-quarters of the Superstar track segments to secure a provisional first position, shading Lena Duerr of Germany by a margin of 0.19 seconds. Despite her swift execution, Shiffrin acknowledged the potential for enhancement ahead of the day’s concluding run, expressing a desire to inject more dynamism into her skiing. In close competition, Petra Vlhova trailed by 0.28 seconds, placing third.

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Though characterized by robust technicality and sound energy, I am in pursuit of that additional percentile of performance for retrieval.
Mikaela Shiffrin

The Slovak skier was a previous victor in this season’s inaugural slalom in Finland. She appeared to command a decisive advantage over Shiffrin during a subsequent contest, only to suffer a misstep that propelled the latter to triumph. Mikaela Shiffrin is a native Coloradoan whose formative years at Burke Mountain Academy have rendered Killington a secondary base.

She holds unparalleled World Cup records, boasting 54 slalom wins and an aggregate of 89 triumphs across all disciplines. Wendy Holdener and Leona Popova concluded their race just under half a second behind the frontrunner. On the other hand, Paula Moltzan, Shiffrin’s colleague, faced a 1.21-second deficit before the last run.

In the Slalom discipline, Canadian world champion Laurence St-Germain lagged, occupying the eighth slot with a 1.30-second deficit. Mikaela Shiffrin, boasting a history of dominance with five victories in the last six East Coast World Cup weekend slaloms, seeks to replicate her success.

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The previous year saw both Wendy Holdener and Anna Swenn-Larsson of Sweden clinching first place, while Shiffrin came in fifth. Having secured a third-place finish in the Giant Slalom (GS) where Lara Gut-Behrami emerged victorious—a race from which Gut-Behrami abstained—Shiffrin continues to top the overall World Cup rankings. This season, the American skier targets an unprecedented sixth overall World Cup championship, which would tie the women’s record.

Mikaela Shiffrin earned her 89th World Cup victory a few weeks ago in Finland

Recovering from a contusion on her left knee caused by an accident during practice less than two weeks prior, Mikaela Shiffrin was content with the prospect of securing a second-place finish at the World Cup slalom in Levi, Finland. Nevertheless, the event took a favorable turn for the American ski racer.

Mikaela Shiffrin [Image Credit- Sports Illustrated]
Mikaela Shiffrin [Image Credit- Sports Illustrated]

Petra Vlhova appeared inevitable in her pursuit of the top spot after besting Shiffrin by 0.76 seconds in the inaugural leg. Fresh off her emphatic triumph in the previous day’s competition on an identical slope, Vlhova augmented her substantial margin to ascend beyond a one-second lead. However, an error occurred during her descent on the challenging Levi Black course, resulting in her disqualification as she incorrectly navigated a gate.

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The 28-year-old, positioned at the base of the mountain, watched in astonishment as her esteemed competitor failed to complete the course. It’s truly unfortunate for her, expressed Mikaela Shiffrin, reflecting on Vlhova’s setback. Acknowledging her performance, she commented on it.

Earning a place on the podium was itself quite fulfilling, especially considering the preceding 10 days have entailed a gradual, day-by-day improvement. It's been somewhat challenging to even contemplate racing lately, so this achievement holds significant value for the entire team.
Mikaela Shiffrin

The victory, which came on the heels of a constrained practice schedule due to her injury, underscored Shiffrin’s resilience and mental fortitude. Despite her triumph, Shiffrin paid homage to Vlhova’s commanding display throughout the weekend, underscoring the latter’s frontrunner status in the competition.

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