MUNICH, Germany (Jan. 1) - Hometown hero Felix Neureuther and Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia put on a New Years Day show for 25,000 fans with victory in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup City Event. It was the first win of the season for Neureuther and the second in four days for Velez Zuzulova, who claimed the first victory of her 12 year World Cup career Dec. 29 in Semmering. Slovenian overall leader Tina Maze was second and held on to her lead in the slalom points. Marcel Hirscher of Austria gained ground on overall leader Aksel Lund Svindal and increased his lead in the slalom standings with second. Americans Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) exited in the quarter final and Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) was bumped in the opening round by Neureuther.
MUNICH, Germany (Dec. 31) - Head-to-head alpine racing, featuring Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) and Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), hits the big city on New Years Day as the Munich Olympic Park hosts the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup City Event of the season. The night time spectacle is set up as a parallel slalom with the top 12 slalom racers, plus the top four athletes in the overall standings dueling side-by-side in seeded bracket style knockout rounds. Mancuso won the last parallel event held in Moscow last February and Shiffrin is currently among the top slalom racers in the world. Both World Cup slalom and overall points will be awarded in addition to the winners pocketing 40,000 Euro.
SEMMERING, Austria (Dec. 29) - Teen Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO), fourth after the opening run, was charging for back-to-back Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom wins, when she got stuck leaning back, hooked an edge, hiked and eventually straddled in the night final. The door was then wide open for veteran Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia to snag the first victory of her 12 year World Cup career. Austrian Kathrin Zettel produced a blazing final run to finish second ahead of overall and now slalom leader Tina Maze of Slovenia. Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) finished in the points for the second straight race with 26th.
SEMMERING, Austria (Dec. 28) - Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) battled a rugged Audi FIS Alpine World Cup in Semmering to finish a career best eighth in giant slalom and leap into 10th in the overall World Cup standings. Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) finished 25th as wind and fog made the already bumpy course exponentially more challenging. Austrian Anna Fenninger posted the wire-to-wire win with a massive 1.1 second margin over Slovenian overall leader Tina Maze. A slalom is slated for Saturday, a year to the day after Shiffrin's first World Cup podium. Shiffrin claimed her first World Cup win with slalom victory a week ago in Are, Sweden and currently leads the World Cup slalom standings.
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.