Hours after electifying the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup tour with a near flawless slalom victory under the lights in Are, Sweden, 17-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin spent some time with Olympic journalists in America. Still bouncing from the win, Shiffrin spoke about her upbringing and how she mentally prepared herself for her first World Cup-winning race.
[on winning in Are] Well, I didn't expect it but I sure hoped for it. I didn't want to be waiting around that long because I'm pretty impatient when it comes to competition but I just tried to stay grounded and focused and work towards this. I knew that a win wouldn't come until I was ready for it, so I was hoping that I was ready.
[on her mother traveling with her] She is with me and she was watching.
ARE, Sweden (Dec. 20) - Teenager Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) scored an historic first victory in an Audi FIS Alpine World Cup, taking a slalom win under the lights in Are. The 17-year-old Shiffrin came back from a .15 deficit to ski a literally flawless second run and post a .29 second win over Sweden's Frida Hansdotter. The win boosted her into the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom lead going into the holiday break. Shiffrin will be back in action Dec. 28-29 in Semmering, Austria, outside Vienna.
ARE, Sweden (Dec. 19) - Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) skied a brilliant bottom section to finish 14th in Wednesday's Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom held under the lights in Are. Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) had also made the final with the 17th fastest opening run, but hooked a gate with her right shoulder and was bounced off course. German Olympic GS champion Viktoria Rebensburg halted the four-race discipline win streak of Slovenia's Tina Maze with her first victory of the season. Maze finished third behind Anna Fenninger of Austria.
Mikaela Shiffrin began turning heads almost instantly when she finished top 15 of her first two NorAm Cup races. And ski fans (and coaches) went cross eyed when she landed a World Cup podium during her rookie season – at age 16. During her official World Cup "rookie" year, she took a slalom podium with third just after Christmas, giant slalom points in February and a trip to the elite top-25 World Cup Finals. She ended the season ranked 17th in the world in slalom – as a 17-year-old. Her peers took notice and voted her "World Cup Rookie of the Year." This year, Shiffrin has already found her place on the podium in Levi, Finland, and has made her best-ever placement in giant slalom. Her commitment to working on fundamental skiing exercises has aided her success and makes her a perfect ambassador athlete for the new SkillsQuest program.
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Dec. 9) - Slovenia's Tina Maze made a bold statement in her quest to win the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall and giant slalom title by capturing her third straight race in the discipline. Defending overall champion Lindsey Vonn was fifth after the opening run and up nearly a full second in the final when she saved a mid race crash to finish 27th. Julia Mancuso battled high winds during her final run to lead the U.S. Ski Team with 21st and young gun Mikaela Shiffrin qualified for the final, but did not finish the second run.
ASPEN, CO (Nov. 25) - U.S. Ski Team rising star Mikaela Shiffrin scored the seventh top 10 of her career with a strong second run in the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational, finshing seventh. Austria's Kathrin Zettel took the win. The finish boosted Shiffrin to fifth in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall and slalom standings. The race was broadcast live on NBC Sports Network. Lindsey Vonn opted to skip the race in favor of flying to Lake Louise a day early to prep for the season opening speed series on Canada.
ASPEN, CO (Nov. 24) - The U.S. Ski Team's Mikaela Shiffrin put together two solid runs, coming out of the 42nd start position to finish ninth - a career best giant slalom - at the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational. Slovenia's Tina Maze picked up the win to remain undefeated in GS as the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup began a two weekend swing in the USA. Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) was 15th while a still ailing Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) was 21st. NBC will broadcast the GS from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Sunday followed by live coverage of the slalom on the NBC Sports Network from 2:00-4:00 p.m.
ASPEN, CO (Nov. 21) – All eyes will be watching Mikaela Shiffrin, Julia Mancuso and potentially Lindsey Vonn when the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational takes over the historic Colorado ski town Thanksgiving weekend with a pair of Audi FIS Alpine World Cup tech races. Vonn, who was walloped last week with a stomach illness, returned to gate training on Nov. 18, but remains day-to-day on whether she'll start in Aspen. Mancuso has been training in Colorado since early Nov. and was third in the Aspen giant slalom last season. Shiffrin carries momentum from a third place slalom finish two weeks ago in Finland. The event also marks the World Cup return of Resi Stiegler, who tore her ACL at the March World Cup Finals. NBC and NBC Sports Network will carry TV coverage from Aspen beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Nov. 25 with the second run of slalom airing live on NBC Sports Network at 3 p.m. ET.
LEVI, Finland (Nov. 10) – Seventeen-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin converted a trip to the Arctic Circle into the second Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom podium of her career after finishing third in Levi. While she doesn't yet have a driver's license or a high school diploma – she graduates from Burke Mountain Academy next spring – the podium came in only the 12th World Cup slalom start of her young career. Olympic slalom champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany won with Finn local Tanja Poutianen in second as wind and challenging light drifted in and out of both runs. Universal Sports will air the race at 10 a.m. ET. The World Cup tour now swings to North America for the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational Nov. 24-25 in Aspen, CO.