Mikaela Shiffrin (27) secured her fifth overall Alpine Skiing World Cup title on Saturday, following her fifth-place finish in the Kvitfjell downhill in Norway, in a crazy season where she is still chasing the absolute record of victories.
There are still seven races left on the program on the world circuit – a maximum of 700 points to be won – but by beating Ticino’s Lara Gut-Behrami (21st) on Saturday, Shiffrin can no longer be caught up. “It’s quite special to have it already, she reacted after the race. “It takes a bit of the weight off my shoulders. So at least it’s done (…) and I can enjoy even more.
With five victories in the general classification (after 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022), the trophy which rewards the most regular and most complete skiers, she joins Luxembourg’s Marc Girardelli, terror of the 1980s and 1990s, on the list. remain more than the Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll (6) and her compatriot Marcel Hirscher (8).
The Colorado native secured the title in a downhill won by Kajsa Vickhoff Lie – never before had a Norwegian won in a World Cup downhill – ahead of Italian Sofia Goggia, who won the globe specialty for the third time in a row. Olympic champion Corinne Suter finished third.
Chasing Stenmark’s record
Mikaela Shiffrin, who flew over the winter with 14 podiums (including 11 victories) in 25 starts, has not yet finished this season. The main title acquired, she still chases the absolute record of 86 victories in the World Cup of Swede Ingemar Stenmark. With 85 successes accumulated over the past twelve years, this emblematic brand of world alpine skiing is reaching out to it.
She will have a new chance to access it on Sunday with a super-G, still in Kvitfjell, or more surely next week in Are (Sweden), on the lands of Stenmark – the legend is also announced among the public -, with his favorite disciplines (giant and slalom).
Midway through her record-breaking season, Shiffrin also used the “break” from the World Championships in Méribel, where she had picked up three medals (giant gold, super-G and slalom silver), to complete her huge collection. of 14 world podiums. She said on Saturday that she also hoped to win the globe in giant slalom. This accumulation of success shows that the American has been able to recover from the trials of life.
The loss of her father and mentor Jeff in February 2020 in a domestic accident had plunged her into endless grief and cut the momentum of her career. Shiffrin also had to overcome the “ridiculous” (in her words) of the Beijing Olympics last year, where she crashed three times and won no medals.
Last summer, she consulted a sports psychologist, according to NBC Sports, who “helped her to know herself better, and to be more independent” according to her mother. “This is my first season with so much mental energy,” she explained, about her spectacular revival.
Also read: Mikaela Shiffrin, the hunt for records