The Giovanni Agnelli race course in Sestriere, Italy is steeped in history. Named for the founder of Fiat and developer of the resort in the 1930s, this was the piste that sent 21-year-olds Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety on to Olympic gold in 2006.
It was here that the legendary Janica Kostelic of Croatia won three slaloms and is the site of one Kristina Koznick’s six wins.
But the Audi FIS Ski World Cup hadn’t visited Sestriere’s fabled slalom pitch in 13 seasons. Mikaela Shiffrin was just nine then.
Standing in the starting gate, history was not on Mikaela Shiffrin’s mind. Coming off a pressure-filled weekend at Killington, Vermont, and topped off with the stress of her first downhill events in Lake Louise, the travel to Sestriere had taken its toll.
SESTRIERE, Italy (Dec. 11, 2016) – Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) crushed the second run to take her sixth-straight slalom win at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Sestriere by over a second.
After winning the first run by only .12, Shiffrin stated that she was feeling stiff and was a little bummed with her skiing. So she took that frustration and channeled it into her second run, building almost a full second onto her first run time to take the win by 1.09 seconds over Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland finished third.
Shiffrin slayssecond run to take the win. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Christophe Pallot)
SESTRIERE, Italy (Dec. 10, 2016) – In a tight race, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) grabbed her third top-10 giant slalom result in a row, taking sixth place at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom in Sestriere, Italy.
Tessa Worley of France was the day's winner, mirroring her teammate Alexis Pinturault who won the men's GS in Val d’Isere, France earlier in the day. Italian Sofia Goggia continued her attack on World Cup podiums in second and Lara Gut of Switzerland was third.
VAL D’ISERE, France (Dec. 9, 2016) – It’s like Groundhog Day here in Val d’Isere, only we’re on the other side of Olympic Avenue this weekend, skiing on the relentless Stade Olympique de Bellevarde. Welcome to the real “Criterium de la Premiere Niege.” Last week was just a tease to the big event this weekend and the French are sure to once again put on a show for the home crowd.
LAKE LOUISE, Canada (Dec. 4, 2016) – Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) led four American women into the top 20 with a career-best 10th-place finish in the first super G of the season at Audi FIS Ski World Cup.
“I am so thrilled,” said Wiles. “I had high expectations for the downhill and fell short. I had no expectations for today, but I knew that you had charge it hard, and that’s what I do best. So I just gave it my all and I’m very happy.”
Headlights pierced the morning fog that had settled into the valleys around the Green Mountains in central Vermont as thousands of cars twisted and turned en route to the mountain. In the pre-dawn darkness, nearly a thousand kids and their chaperones made their way to the Killington Ski Club building as clouds obscured the sun - nearly two dozen ski clubs gathering together. This was a special day for ski racers.
For the past 14 months, since the announcement that the Audi FIS Ski World Cup was returning to the Eastern USA, every mom and dad of a young ski racer in New England knew that on Thanksgiving weekend, they would be taking their kids to Killington.
KILLINGTON, VT (Nov. 27, 2016) – In front of a huge hometown crowd and her entire family, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) shone under pressure to win the Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom at Vermont’s Killington Mountain. Shiffrin’s win capped off a successful weekend in the east coast that will impact ski racing for decades to come.
Coming in as the odds-on favorite, Shiffrin had a couple of small bobbles in her second run, but put aside all the pre-race pressure to extend her first run lead and win by .73 seconds ahead of Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia to take her 21st World Cup win. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was third.
“It’s been incredible,” said Shiffrin. “I knew it was going to be a big one and special, and I was so excited. It’s the east coast - I know this place and I know these people love to watch ski racing. I’m so proud that they all came out and really cheered that loud!”
KILLINGTON, VT (Dec. 26, 2016) – 16,000 fans showed up at Vermont's Killington Mountain to watch the best giant slalom skiers in the world race their home hill of Superstar. With one of the largest women's alpine racing crowds in the history of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup, the noise was deafening, with people driving from far and wide to cheer on their heroes at the first World Cup in the east coast in 25 years. Delighting the crowd, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) grabbed fifth place and spent hours signing autographs for aspiring athletes after her race.
The day opened with clear, warm weather, but it got steadily colder as precipitation and fog rolled in throughout the day. The track was rough with bumpy conditions due to the wet weather. Tessa Worley of France was first, with first-run leader Nina Loeseth of Norway in second and Sofia Goggia of Italy in third.
KILLINGTON, VT (Nov. 24, 2016) – The athletes are en route to #beastworldcup, and the excitement has been steadily building to what will be one of the biggest events of the season – the first Audi FIS Ski World Cup to make its way east in 25 years. One of New England's premier resorts, Killington Mountain, is primed to play host to the best skiers in the world this weekend, and Superstar will be the big stage.
KITTILÄ, Finland (Nov. 12, 2016) – Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) overcame Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom opener nerves, skiing two clean and solid runs en route to her first World Cup victory of the 2017 season. Switzerland's Wendy Holdener grabbed second, .67 seconds out, while Slovakia's Petra Vlhova rounded out the podium in third, .75 seconds behind Shiffrin.
It was a beautiful, crisp day up in Lapland, with a picturesque sunrise and perfect rock-hard conditions on the race track. Starting lucky number seven, Shiffrin laid down a smoking first run, finishing .72 ahead of 2016 World Cup slalom title holder Frida Hansdotter and Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener. The battle between Shiffrin and Hansdotter ended when Hansdotter straddled on the pitch second run and skied out. Shiffrin knifed the bulletproof pitch and maintained her lead all the way to the finish, earning herself another prize Lapland reindeer and a buddy for her 2013 prize reindeer Rudolph. His name? Sven.