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Mikaela Shiffrin of Edwards earned a valuable 15 points in the overall World Cup chase on Sunday with a 16th-place finish in a super-G in Cortina, Italy. And Sarah Schleper, of Vail and Los Cabos, Mexico, finished the same race in 35th as both local legends gear up for the Beijing Winter Olympics next month.
Shiffrin, 26, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist hoping to break that U.S. record for alpine racers (no one has won three golds) by racing in all five disciplines in Beijing. Schleper, 42, is a former U.S. Ski Team racer whose previous Olympic best was 10th in slalom at the Torino Winter Olympics in Italy in 2006.
Elena Curtoni of Italy won Sunday’s super-G with a time of 1 minute, 20.98 seconds, and Shiffrin was more than a second behind at 1:21.99.
Schleper, a dual Mexican-U.S. citizen who now races for the Mexican Ski Team, was 7.58 seconds back at 1:28.56, finishing five slots out of the FIS points. An astounding 22 racers did not finish on tricky course, including Saturday’s downhill winner and the defending Olympic downhill champion, Sofia Goggia of Italy. Goggia did the splits, crashed out and is now being treated for a suspected left knee sprain, according to the Associated Press.
Shiffrin now leads slalom rival Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, who did not race on Sunday, by 981 points to 929 in the overall chase, with Goggia still in third with 769.
Vlhova is the defending overall champion, and Shiffrin is trying to win her fourth overall title, which would tie retired former Vail resident Lindsey Vonn for the American record. Vonn will be a commentator for the Beijing Games.
Shiffrin on Sunday was still riding the high of her boyfriend, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway, winning Friday on the most famous ski-racing track in the world — the legendary Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbühel, Austria.
“Over 24 hours have passed since this happened and the excitement levels are still through the roof!” Shiffrin tweeted on Saturday. “I’ll just be over here celebrating you and your incredible skiing forever @AleksanderKilde.”
For Shiffrin, second only to Vonn (82) on the women’s all-time World Cup victory list with 73, there are just a couple of more opportunities before the Olympics kick off on Feb. 4. Tuesday there’s a giant slalom at Kronplatz, Italy, and then this coming weekend (Jan. 29-30) in Garmisch, Germany, there’s a downhill and a super-G.
Shiffrin has won two regular-season downhills in her career and four super-G races. She’s the all-time record holder for most wins in a single discipline with 47 slalom victories, followed by 14 in GS. But she’s the defending Olympic GS champion and also has a gold in slalom from 2014 (Sochi) and a silver in combined from 2018 (Pyeongchang).
Schleper has one World Cup win on her resume — a slalom in 2005 — and four podiums (top three). She’s married with children to local realtor Federico Gaxiola, whose family has been in Vail since its early days in the 1960s. Schleper’s father, Buzz, owns Vail gear shop Buzz’s Boards.
Here’s the press release from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team on Sunday’s super-G race:
Mikaela Shiffrin led the U.S. Alpine Ski Team in super-G at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, finishing 16th, Sunday. Keely Cashman also scored points, skiing into 28th place.
Hometown hero Elena Curtoni of Italy took her second career win with Tamara Tippler of Austria in second and Michelle Gisin of Switzerland third. World Cup super-G standing leader Federica Brignone of Italy was fourth. Saturday’s downhill winner and speed sensation Sofia Goggia crashed hard on the course and did not finish. She skied to the finish and is being evaluated.
The Italian woman are on fire heading into the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, having won the last three straight races on the World Cup circuit—Brignone won the super-G in Zauchensee, Austria, followed by Goggia and Curtoni’s back-to-back wins in Cortina.
Both Shiffrin and Cashman skied well in the fast super-G but felt like they have more in the tank. “I skied a little bit passive, not super aggressive,” said Cashman. “I’m not that happy with it, but that’s ski racing.”
Though it wasn’t the result she wanted, the Olympic excitement is starting to set in for first-time Olympian Cashman, who overcame an injury over the last year to return to the World Cup stage during an Olympic year and make the team. “Obviously this is something I’ve been working toward my entire life,” she said. “It feels really good to be here and to make my first Olympic team and I’m very excited about it.”
Jackie Wiles, Alix Wilkinson, Mo Lebel, and Tricia Mangan did not finish but are OK.
Shiffrin remains first in the overall World Cup standings, while Brignone leads the super-G World Cup standings.
The women stay in Italy for giant slalom in Kronplatz, Italy, on Tuesday before the final weekend of speed events in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, before heading to Beijing.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022
4:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Giant Slalom, run 1 – LIVE, Kronplatz, ITA, Streaming Peacock, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live
7:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Giant Slalom, run 2 – LIVE, Kronplatz, ITA, Streaming Peacock, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live
11:45 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s Slalom, run 1 – LIVE, Schladming, AUT, Streaming Peacock
2:45 p.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s Slalom, run 2 – LIVE, Schladming, AUT, Streaming Peacock
Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022
5:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Downhill – LIVE, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live
Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022
5:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Super-G – LIVE, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live