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Mikaela Shiffrin of Edwards will enter the most races she’s ever competed in at a major event next week when she tries to medal in combined, super-G, giant slalom and slalom at the World Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, according to NBC Sports.
Shiffrin, who by her standards is having a below-average season with “just” two victories on the regular World Cup circuit this season, is viewing the super-G as a speed-event training opportunity.
“I’m really going into this sort of speed section of world champs with the intention of almost trying to take it as an opportunity for training,” Shiffrin said, according to NBC.
“I think that I’ll be able to have a pretty good result, but when you look at what [Swiss racer] Lara [Gut-Behrami]‘s been able to do the last races [four consecutive super-G wins] and what a lot of the girls are doing, I have absolutely no guarantee that it’s going to stack up,” Shiffrin added.
Shiffrin has not raced in a super-G or downhill race this season, with both of her wins coming in slalom and GS, mostly because she was limited in training by a back injury and being off the circuit following the death of her father Jeff after an accident a year ago at their home in Edwards.
She does not consider herself one of the favorites to medal in super-G, even though she brought home the gold in 2019.
“I’m not going in to defend my [super-G] title, if that makes sense. I want to be clear about that,” Shiffrin said.
Shiffrin will race in the combined event (one run of super-G and one run of slalom) on Monday, Feb. 8, followed by the stand-alone super-G on Tuesday, Feb. 9, according to NBC’s race schedule.
Then Shiffrin will race in the GS (Feb. 18) and the slalom (Feb. 20) the following week.
Shiffrin is already the most decorated American world champion of all time with seven medals (five of them gold), including a slalom win at worlds on her home mountain of Beaver Creek in 2015.
One more championship medal would tie Shiffrin with former Vail resident Lindsey Vonn, who claimed eight total over the course of her illustrious career (two gold). Shiffrin is also second to Vonn in all-time career World Cup wins among women, 68 to 82.