Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin won the Are slalom Saturday to secure her second straight Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom title. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Nisse Schmidt)
ARE, Sweden (March 8) - Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) won her fourth Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom of the season on Saturday to mathematically clinch a second straight World Cup title in the discipline. The stunning victory earned the 18-year-old a space in history as the youngest woman to reach eight World Cup slalom wins. She turns 19 on March 13. Universal Sports Network will broadcast the race at 1 p.m. ET.
Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) won her fourth Audi FIS Alpine World Cup of the season to mathematically lock a second consecutive World Cup title in the discipline.
The stunning victory earned the 18-year-old a space in history as the youngest woman to reach eight World Cup slalom wins. She turns 19 on March 13.
The first World Cup win of her career came on Dec. 20, 2012 during a night slalom in Are.
Shiffrin is already the youngest Olympic slalom and World Champion in women's alpine history.
Frida Hansdotter of Sweden was the only other athlete in the title hunt and was second after the first run, but finished fourth to lock the title for Shiffrin before the final race of the season.
Shiffrin opened a .66 gap on the field in the first run despite stormy weather. She then held on to the lead to win by .60 over Maria Pietilae-Holmer of Sweden. Anna Swenn-Larsson, also of Sweden, was third for the first World Cup podium of her career.
Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) skied from the 40th start position to 14th for her best finish of the season, but she did not qualify for the top 25 World Cup Finals.
Universal Sports Network will air the race, which was the final women's World Cup of the regular season, at 1 p.m. ET.
QUOTES Mikaela Shiffrin My first win was, of course, amazing. It just seemed like such a perfect night to get a World Cup win. It was a dream come true and kind of the start of all of this, because in my mind I finally felt like I really could be a good ski racer at the World Cup level.
Then when I came to do my first press conference [after the 2012 win in Are] everyone was so nice and I met this little girl right outside. She was really young and she had leukemia. Her mom just said, ‘Do you think you could take a picture with her. It would really make her day.’ I just keep thinking about that, like she was a little lucky charm for me for some reason. It just seemed like my first win, and it was such a great day for me, and here’s this girl and all she wants is a picture. It put everything in perspective. Since then I’ve carried that same motto, that I can win Olympics, it is all great, but it could be a lot worse so I have to be grateful for everything I have.
I’m just really comfortable on slalom skis. It feels so easy to me when I’m loose and I let my skis go and it just seems like they find the finish for me and I don’t have to work so hard.
My next goal is to win in GS. Hopefully I can get some good training in and have some confidence, because I know my GS skiing is fast enough to win, but I really have to do my best skiing and that seems to be slipping away from me a little bit.
Roland Pfeifer, U.S. Ski Team Women's Technical Head Coach She’s very comfortable in slalom. That’s her domain. Her run started off very fast. Fortunately she had very good conditions at the end of the race. She almost had sunshine at the top of the course, so it was good enough for her to just kind of cruise down and wrap up the title.
I just go day by day and hope I can do a good job. It makes me a little bit proud and I must be doing something right with Mikaela. We’re all still thinking about what’s going to be her future. It’s very challenging to make the next step. We need to be very inventive to even extend our gap a little bit more and get better and better. Mikaela is such an invaluable athlete for the U.S. Ski Team. She is the golden feet, so we really need to focus what we’re going to do with her. The whole thing makes me think about what I’m going to do next year to balance her.