Mikaela Shiffrin ends season with record 21st GS win
SOLDEU, Andorra (AP) — After capping off her record-breaking season with 88 career wins, Mikaela Shiffrin was asked a question again and again — and she couldn’t quite answer it.
“What do you think will happen next?” How many wins? wanted to know Johan Eliasch, president of the International Ski and Snowboard Federation after presenting Shiffrin with his fifth big crystal globe, the prize for winning the overall World Cup title.
“I have no idea how many,” Shiffrin replied. “Sometimes part of me feels like it’s always my last win. I hope not, I keep heading for more.
A week after breaking Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark’s record, the American raised the all-time highest mark for career wins to 88 by winning the final race of the season, a giant slalom in the World Cup final on Sunday.
His 21st career victory in the discipline marked another milestone by moving Shiffrin ahead of Swiss skier Vreni Schneider, who scored 20 GS World Cup victories between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. has won seven of the last eight events and won the GS world title last month.
The overall record, between men and women, is held by Stenmark, who won 46 giant slaloms in the 1970s and 1980s.
The “what’s next?” The question also came from her boyfriend and downhill world champion, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who conducted an on-course interview after the race.
“I don’t know, you tell me. Just keep going,” said Shiffrin, who also won the slalom and GS titles this season.
After Kilde asked him about improvement plans for next season, Shiffrin joked: “We can discuss that later, privately.”
Shiffrin also set a personal-best 2,206 World Cup points in 31 starts this season, two points more than her total from 2018-19, when she appeared in 26 races.
Only one skier has scored more points in a single season: Slovenian great Tina Maze ended her 2012-13 campaign with 2,414 points.
Later, Shiffrin posed for photos with men’s overall champion Marco Odermatt, who set the men’s record of 2,042 points. This is the first World Cup season in which the women’s and men’s champions have finished with over 2,000 points.
Sunday’s result also marked Shiffrin’s 138th career World Cup podium, edging out former teammate Lindsey Vonn’s mark of 137.
But for Shiffrin, his favorite personal best came nine years ago.
“Honestly, I think I’m probably the youngest Olympic champion in slalom. It was really the only record I ever wanted, like really a goal,” said Shiffrin, who was 18 when she won her first Olympic gold medal at the Sochi Games in 2014.
“It happened quite a while ago, and I’m still motivated today, I still had that nervous feeling up there. I was so nervous at first…because you mean well. And no matter the records, it’s just that you want to do well.
As the sun shone on the Avet course, Shiffrin held on to a first-run lead to edge Thea Louise Stjernesund by 0.06 seconds. The Norwegian clinched her first career podium.
Canadian skier Valérie Grenier finished third, trailing Shiffrin by 0.20.
Three of the seven top-ranked runners failed to complete their opening runs as Petra Vlhova, who won Saturday’s slalom, Federica Brignone and Olympic champion Sara Hector all missed a gate.
Former two-time world champion Tessa Worley placed 11th in what she said was the last race of her career. The French GS specialist has won 16 races and three season titles, the most recent being last year.
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