Two weeks before the close of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup season in St. Moritz, Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin had a decision to make. Having just come back from a December knee injury, she had to decide whether or not to go to Lenzerheide, Switzerland for a super G and an alpine combined leading into the World Cup Finals.
She was coming off a top-10 combined finish in Andorra – her first World Cup in that discipline. And speed events were definitely in her plans. It was a challenging decision for the then 20-year-old (she turned 21 a week later).
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (March 20, 2016) – The World Cup season wrapped up Sunday with another sunny and warm spring day in the Swiss Alps at the World Cup Finals with men’s slalom and women’s giant slalom. David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) just missed the top 20, while Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) showed promise in GS despite skiing out in the first run.
“It was an unfortunate way to finish the season, but at the same time, we know (David) has made a huge step and we’ve got to stick to that positive here at the end of the season,” Men’s Head Coach Sasha Rearick said. “He really made a step this season in both GS and slalom. Consistency wise, he’s been much better.”
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (March 19, 2016) – She is simply in a class all her own. Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) provided another dominating slalom victory – her fifth win of the season – Saturday at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals.
Shiffrin’s winning margin of 2.03 seconds was stunning, especially considering that a number of her top competitors struggled on the grippy snow surface baked by the warm spring sunshine. In Saturday’s race, she left Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova in her wake, along with Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter, who finished second and third respectively. Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY), who was competing at the World Cup Finals for the first time since 2007, was 11th.
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Mar. 15, 2016) – The Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals kick off on Wednesday, March 16 at the site of the 2017 World Championships in St. Moritz. The sun is shining, the track is reminiscent of that Colorado buttery smooth snow and globes are up for grabs. Plus, nearly all World Cup Finals events will be shown live on NBCSN.
JASNA, Slovakia (March 7, 2016) – A day after winning the slalom by over two seconds, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) took 14th in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom in Jasna, Slovakia.
Rescheduled from Saturday’s canceled GS, the weather lacked the amount of fog, snow and wind to which the racers were becoming accustomed in Jasna. But even with the bad weather throughout the weekend, the long course was in perfect condition with the racers able to grip it and rip it.
JASNA, Slovakia (March 6, 2016) – Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) absolutely crushed the competition Sunday, winning her 18th career Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom. Shiffrin’s winning time was 2.36 second ahead of Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener in second. Home crowd favorite Veronika Velez Zuzulova was third.
Mikaela Shiffrin cruises to a first-run win during Sunday’s slalom in Slovakia. (Getty/AFP-Joe Klamar)
Since her comeback from a left knee injury sustained in December, Shiffrin has won back-to-back slaloms. In Sunday’s first run, she won by 1.67 seconds, despite claiming that her timing was still a bit off due to her eight-week absence from competition.
JASNA, Slovakia (March 4, 2016) – The Audi FIS Ski World Cup returns to Jasna, Slovakia for the first time since 1984 for a giant slalom and slalom. A healthy and strong Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) is ready for her first full tech weekend back on the World Cup circuit since returning from a knee injury sustained in Åre, Sweden.
Shiffrin, who turns 21 on March 13, has won 18 World Cup races in her career – 17 of them slalom victories – one shy of Switzerland’s Lise Marie Morerod’s total before reaching the age of 21. Only one other woman – the great Annemarie Moser Pröll – has won more races before turning 21 years old, with 31 victories. Perhaps the weekend will bring an early birthday present for Shiffrin? Only time will tell.
SOLDEU-EL TARTER, Andorra (Feb. 28, 2016) – A day after going down in a sled following a super G crash, Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) came back to win the Audi FIS Ski World Cup alpine combined morning super G, and finish 13th overall, forcing a three-way tie for the combined globe with one event to go.
Mikaela Shiffrin finished eighth in the alpine combined Sunday in Soldeu, Andorra. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard)
SOLDEU, Andorra (Feb. 26, 2016) – The ladies speed team was able to catch some sunshine and a little taste of the ocean in Barcelona, Spain en route to Soldeu-El Tarter, Andorra this weekend. For the Americans, it’s a long season away from home and the sunshine may have been just what the doctor ordered to recharge the ladies for the remainder of the season.
Andorra is a tiny country located between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains, where Soldeu-El Tarter will play host to a super G and alpine combined on Saturday and Sunday. Previously, Andorra has hosted World Cup giant slalom and slalom events, but this speed weekend will be a first for the tiny nation. Luckily, in Andorra’s case, size doesn’t matter. Their fans are crazy about ski racing and they’re stoked World Cup action is returning to their soil.
CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (Feb. 15, 2016) – Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) returned from injury to dominate the Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom Monday, taking her 18th World Cup victory.
“That was a pretty incredible race,” said Shiffrin, who suffered a knee injury warming up for a race in December. “I’m glad it’s over, but I enjoyed skiing that last run, it was really rough and a challenge at every single gate. It was just bumpy and a wild ride – tough, but a good fight, and that’s the way it should be."
Mikaela Shiffrin charges en route to her 18th career World Cup victory Monday in Crans-Montana. (Getty Images/AFP-Fabrice Coffrini)