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Katharina Liensberger of Austria trounced the field in the World Cup Finals slalom in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on Saturday, topping Mikaela Shiffrin of Edwards by 1.24 seconds for the win and the discipline crystal globe. Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova was sixth, 3.15 seconds back, but still earned enough points for the overall World Cup title.
“That I can say I was good enough to win the slalom globe, that is fantastic,” an overjoyed Liensberger after the race, according to the International Ski Federation. “I don’t think I can ask for anything more, or that it can get any better.”
Vlhova led the slalom standings heading into the race, but reportedly faltered in the first run and had to “settle” for the big globe with her top-10 finish. She is the first Slovakian to win the overall title.
“This season for me was really difficult, I did a lot of races and it was very long,” said Vlhova. “But now I can say ‘I did it’. Coming from Slovakia, I don’t have a big team, we’re not a big ski nation, so to bring the Globe home means a lot to me and my country. I think I need time to realize everything, but I look forward to brining the Globe home and celebrating with my friends and family.”
All the globes have now been decided, with Shiffrin no longer in the running for any of them. The women compete in one final giant slalom on Sunday.
Shiffrin issued the following statement on Saturday’s slalom via the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team:
“I think being able to get to this point and have any races at World Cup Finals, especially with really difficult weather this week is really lucky,” Shiffrin said. “There’s a lot of things that went totally different this season and I had a lot of uncertainty personally. It’s been quite successful, even if it’s comparatively not as successful as other seasons. It’s a really good stepping stone for me. I’m trying to just take just the moments that are positive and move forward with that.”
Shiffrin also commended 23-year-old Liensberger:
“Her skiing is not only strong but also fearless,” Shiffrin said. “It’s quite impressive to see that. I knew it would have to be a really really perfect race for me to have a chance to overtake her in the globe fight, so it was just trying to find a good rhythm for myself today and there were definitely some good turns in there. She absolutely has just been consistent this season and building higher and higher and putting really impressive skiing out there.”
Before the race, Shiffrin issued the following statement on this difficult season via the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team:
From an early age, my parents taught me a simple approach to skiing—to make a few good turns.
Each time I step into the start gate, my goal remains the same…to make as many good turns as I can. My career, in many ways, can be summarized by a series of good turns.
But this year, I’ve experienced quite a few challenging turns as well…there was even a time I didn’t think I could ever race again. But, I’ve come a long way from those days of doubt, and I’m emerging perhaps stronger than I was before. I’ve also learned a lot about myself, and resiliency, in the process.
My first race back after 300 days without racing was anything but easy—but despite mounting pressure and an overarching feeling of sadness and uncertainty, I managed to finish with a result that made me smile. And a few weeks later in Courchevel, I felt the fire burning inside that I hadn’t felt in a long time. With it, came a flood of emotions.
Even with some bright moments, when World Championships came around, I still wasn’t feeling super confident in my skiing. But when I finally broke out my super-G skis for the first time in over a year, I felt a rush of exhilaration and freedom that I had been missing. From that point, the momentum started building…
Now here I am at World Cup Finals. It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago the entire world and the ski season came to an abrupt halt and that races weren’t even possible. It wasn’t just my world that turned upside down, it was everyones.
Life sometimes makes you turn up on edge, like a ski, forcing you to find a way to carve around obstacles. It’s about how you handle those turns—head-on, high speed, in control. That’s what this year has taught me the most. And that’s what I’m going to try to do this week…just make as many good turns as I can.
Looking back, what really made this season so special is the fact that we even had a season at all. We’re all just grateful for the simple things…to be back on snow and have the chance to make a few good turns. And I know regardless of the outcome, I can be happy with that.