ÄRE, Sweden (Reuters) -An emotional Mikaela Shiffrin wrote her name in the history books as the most successful Alpine World Cup skier of all time on Saturday after taking a record 87th career win in a women’s slalom in Äre in Sweden. The 27-year-old American, who took her first win at the same resort in […]
Alpine skiing-Shiffrin slaloms to record 87th World Cup win
ÄRE, Sweden (Reuters) -An emotional Mikaela Shiffrin wrote her name in the history books as the most successful Alpine World Cup skier of all time on Saturday after taking a record 87th career win in a women’s slalom in Äre in Sweden.
The 27-year-old American, who took her first win at the same resort in December 2012, had equalled the previous record of retired Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark in a giant slalom on Friday. Stenmark’s record had stood since the 1980s.
Shiffrin became the most successful female World Cup skier of all time in January when she passed compatriot Lindsey Vonn’s tally of 82 wins.
“Pretty hard to comprehend that thought,” she said when asked by a television interviewer how it felt to be the greatest of all time.
Shiffrin was in a class of her own on Saturday, leading by 0.69 seconds after a first run she described as “pretty perfect”.
She then stretched her advantage in the second to cross the line 0.92 ahead of Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener.
Sweden’s Anna Swenn Larsson was third, 0.95 slower than Shiffrin over the two legs.
“You have to be smart but also I just wanted to be fast too and ski the second run like its own race,” said Shiffrin. “I did exactly how I wanted and that’s amazing.”
Shiffrin had said after the first run it was hard to imagine another day like Friday but there was a surprise in store after she crossed the line.
“It got a little bit more emotional when I saw my brother and sister-in-law in the finish as I didn’t know they were coming,” she said.
“Taylor, Kristi and my mum (Eileen) were the first people that I saw and I was, like, ‘What are you doing here?. We’re in Sweden, we’re not in the U.S., we’re not even close’.
“That just brought everything…just total mess then. What an unbelievable day.”
Shiffrin had already won the slalom World Cup crystal globe, along with a fifth overall title and the giant slalom globe, and Saturday was her 13th win of the season.
The 2014 Olympic slalom champion also won gold in the giant slalom at last month’s world championships in France and silver medals in slalom and super-G.
Shiffrin, who turns 28 on Monday, still has more races to come before the season is done with the World Cup finals in Soldeu, Andorra, next week.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Tomasz Janowski and Hugh Lawson)
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