On November 29, 2023

Shiffrin dominates, secures historic 90th World Cup win

By Jerry LeBlond

Mikaela Shiffrin holds up her 90th World Cup trophy after winning Slalom at Killington, Sunday.

 

 

By Katy Savage

Mikaela Shiffrin won the Killington Cup Slalom again —her sixth victory in seven years.

After winning her historic 89th World Cup in Levi, Finland  in October, she extended her World Cup wins to 90, taking gold in the Slalom on Sunday, Nov. 26 in Killington, beating her Slovakian rival Petra Vlhova by 0.33 seconds. Swiss skier Wendy Holdener took third. 

“It feels really good,” Shiffrin said after her  win. “It’s amazing to race in front of this crowd no matter what. Being in a position to win is something different, that’s really spectacular.” 

Shiffrin also took a podium spot, finishing third  in the giant slalom on Saturday — earning her third giant slalom podium in Killington. Swiss skier Lara Gut-Behrami won the race, while Alice Robinson of New Zealand took second.  

This was the World Cup’s seventh time coming to Killington. Crowds totaled around 34,000 over three days as 100 of the fastest female alpine ski racers from 20 different countries descended Superstar. 

Shiffrin, who graduated from Burke Mountain Academy, is off to a strong start this year after a record-setting season last year, when she beat Ingemar Stenmark’s 86 World Cup wins (a record that’s stood since 1989) to become the winningest Alpine racer ever. 

But to reach that pinnacle, she’s also experienced her share of set backs. Last year, in Killington she had the fastest first run in the Slalom but ended up finishing fifth after the second run.

“These kinds of moments, you can call it a disappointment … Those are the things that stick with me more than winning actually does,” Shiffrin told reporters, recalling the race last year. “So, I always feel more doubt in myself than confidence, because of races like here last year. That’s something that really fuels me.” 

 

   

By Jerry LeBlond
Left: The Giant Slalom podium on Saturday, Nov. 25, held Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami in first, New Zealand’s Alice Robinson in second, and USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin in third. 
Right: The Slalom podium on Sunday, Nov. 26, held USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin in first, Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova in second, and Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener in third.

 

Sunday’s race  marked Shiffrin’s 55th Slalom win — another record. No other skier, male or female, has ever won more than 46 races in a single discipline. 

The U.S. Ski Team had a strong showing over the weekend. In Sunday’s Slalom, Paula Moltzan, from Andover, Massachusetts, finished eighth, about two seconds off the lead, after a mistake at the top of her run. 

“I pulled out some resilient skiing after that mistake but the crowd is what pulled me through. I could hear them from the top,” said Moltzan. “Although eighth isn’t really what I wanted, it’s a great result to end the weekend.”

“Mikaela is an icon in our sport and Alpine skiing in general, she’s bringing women’s skiing to the next level,” Moltzan continued. “Being her teammate, we see it more so with all the coverage of women’s racing. We are lucky to be able to experience it all with Mikaela leading the charge.”

By Jerry LeBlond
View of the Giant Slalom finish and crowd totaling 18,000 in the grandstands and in front of the VIP tent at Killington Resort Saturday. 

 

For the second year, the Stifel Killington Cup also highlighted the  U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team’s  “HERoic” initiative, a women’s empowerment initiative created to  foster awareness and opportunities for women in the ski industry.

U.S. Ski Team athlete Allie Resnick had a strong first run where she ended up in 49th position; she did not qualify for a second run. Zoe Zimmermann and AJ Hurt did not finish the first run on Sunday.   

Over 300 volunteers took part in the Stifel Killington Cup and nearly 1,000 children from New England ski clubs participated in the opening day parade on Saturday. 

Earlier this month, the Stifel U.S. Ski Team announced a 30% boost in prize money for all World Cups. The Killington Cup was the first to implement the prize money increases.  

 “I have to say, thank you so much to Stifel for setting a new precedent in the sport about the worth of the athletes and the work we do,” Shiffrin said in a press release. “It takes all our time and energy, and my big hope is that other nations and partners will follow suit. To see how much this brings to the sport and to see that the athletes are truly valued. To feel valued for what you do is really incredible.”

The women go to Tremblant, Canada this coming weekend for a pair of Giant Slalom races Dec. 2-3. 

By Jerry LeBlond
Shiffrin carves around a Giant Slalom gate Saturday at the Killington Cup.

 

 

 

Courtesy Killington Resort
Shiffrin yells with joy after her 90th win.

 

 

 

 

 

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