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EagleVail’s Shiffrin closes out record season in style with giant slalom win

March 17, 2019, 8:40 am

Mikaela Shiffrin left it all on the hill Sunday to win the final giant slalom of the season in Soldeu, Andorra. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom – Alexis Boichard)

EagleVail’s Mikaela Shiffrin finished her record-shattering 2018-19 World Cup season with a bang on Sunday, winning the final giant slalom in Soldeu, Andorra, to claim her fourth crystal globe and the 60th win of her career.

Shiffrin only needed a top-15 finish and 14 points to claim her record-tying fourth globe of the season, adding to her third-straight overall title, sixth slalom title and the super-G globe. Instead, the Olympic GS champion just went out and won the race by a fairly solid margin.

It was Shiffrin’s record-extending 17th victory of the season, blowing past the old mark of 14 held by retired great Vreni Schneider of Switzerland.

“I wanted to come out here today and really earn it. Really earn it and deserve it,” said Shiffrin, according to the Associated Press.

Her fourth discipline title in a single season matched the women’s record held by Vail’s Lindsey Vonn (2010, 2012) and Slovenia’s Tina Maze (2013).

Here’s the U.S. Ski and Snowboard press release on Shiffrin’s win on Sunday:

Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) closed out her dream season with a fourth FIS Ski World Cup Crystal Globe – and her first giant slalom title – following her 17th victory of the season at Saturday’s World Cup Finals giant slalom in Soldeu, Andorra.

“I’ve been dreaming about (winning the giant slalom Crystal Globe) for a really long time,” Shiffrin said. “Since…before my first slalom Globe. And there have been a lot of moments in the past eight years where I thought I would never be able to achieve this goal.

“To be here now, after this season…this whole season has felt like a dream,” she continued. “It’s really hard to believe that it actually happened.”

Well, it did and she owned it! Setting records all season, including…

  • The most World Cup victories in a season – 17.
  • The first alpine skier, male or female, to ever win the World Cup overall, slalom, giant slalom and super-G crystal globes in one year.
  • The fifth woman to win the slalom and giant slalom crystal globes in one season, after Tanja Poutiainen (2005), Anja Pärson (2004), Vreni Schneider (1989, 1995) and Lise-Marie Morerod (1977).

And she did it all with gas left in the tank after 26 World Cup starts this season and racking up an impressive 66-percent win ratio – the highest winning record of any athlete in any major sport! Her worst finish of the season was ninth in downhill at Lake Louise, Canada, which is impressive in itself as it was only her seventh-ever World Cup downhill start.

But throughout the entire season, Shiffrin has not focused on the victories, the records, or the Globes. Her focus has remained on one thing and one thing only – the quality of her skiing.

Racing under perfect conditions with sunshine on a hard, fast track, Shiffrin took the first run lead by .59 seconds over Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg, and .81 seconds over New Zealand’s Junior World Giant Slalom Champion Alice Robinson. After Robinson laid down a blistering second run and sat in the hot seat, Shiffrin left it all on the hill for the final run of the World Cup season.

“I came out here today…to fight and be aggressive, and maybe make mistakes, but ski really fast,” she said. “My first run felt amazing, and my second run was feeling really, really good, then I went down on my hip, and I was thinking “I lost it!’ But that’s part of it, that’s part of the fight.”

Robinson held on for second – her first career World Cup podium – and Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, the 2019 Giant Slalom World Champion, rounded out the podium in third.

With the season wrapped up, Shiffrin is off for a few days of rest and relaxation in Spain before heading back to the United States. But after being pushed by Robinson Sunday and Vlhova all season long, she knows that next season’s prep has already started.

“One thing that does keep (this season) in perspective is someone like Alice Robinson coming down into second with two runs of amazing skiing, and feeling like, I don’t know, next season has started,” she said. “There is always a new reason to be motivated and that sometimes puts it in perspective for me

“The real goal is always pushing my level of skiing, pushing my limit. Seeing what’s possible…as long as I have motivation and fire, then I’ll be doing this as well as I can,” she continued. “That is kind of the ultimate goal. So in that way, it doesn’t matter how many Globes, or wins, or whatever, it’s just go for it because it’s fun.”

Women’s giant slalom

Women’s World Cup overall
Women’s World Cup giant slalom

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