Sixteen-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin was 3rd in the Lienz slalom for the first World Cup podium of her young career (Getty Images/Agence Zoom/Christophe Pallot)
LIENZ, Austria (Dec. 29) - Sixteen-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) won the second run to capture the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup podium of her young career with third in the Lienz slalom. Shiffrin, who became the youngest U.S. champion in history last spring with a slalom victory at the Putnam Investments U.S. Alpine Championships, finished behind Marlies Schild of Austria and Slovenian Tina Maze. Schild has won every World Cup slalom this season.
Mikaela Shiffrin, 16, won the second run to finish third for the first World Cup podium of her career
It was only the eighth World Cup start of Shiffrin's career - fifth in slalom
Shiffrin won the U.S. slalom title last spring to become the youngest U.S. champion in history
Shiffrin became the youngest female skier to podium in World Cup slalom since Tamara McKinney on Dec. 10, 1978
Shiffrin is third youngest American to land a World Cup podium in any discipline behind McKinney and Sandra Poulsen (Feb. 11, 1973)
Schild has now won all four World Cup slaloms this season
Lindsey Vonn was 18th and Resi Stiegler 27th. Vonn continues to lead World Cup overall points
It was the final World Cup start for 15 year veteran and four-time Olympian Sarah Schleper
The women's World Cup tour returns on Jan. 3 with a slalom in Zagreb, Croatia
QUOTES Mikaela Shiffrin I have learned something from so many racers. From Marlies, getting her 31st win here. From Lindsey [Vonn], with so many wins in all the disciplines. From the whole U.S team, with all their energy and the positive attitude.
I have been working so hard for this moment. Schild, Zettel, Hosp, Vonn; I have been watching all these top girls for the past 10 years. And now I am here myself, it really feels crazy.
Sarah [Schleper] told me to go after it and have fun. It was perfect. Something about that makes me very calm because she's been there. I'm so bummed that she's retiring, but she went out with a bang. I'm so proud of her and so proud to have raced next to her.
I didn't know that I was the fastest in the second run until someone told me. I truly can't believe it. Now I just have to keep my head on my shoulders and just keep skiing because those two runs today were so much fun and that's what it's all about.
Nicki Hosp and Kathrin Zettel came up to me in the leader box and I told them that I'd been watching them and Marlies since I was five-years-old. I really respect how they ski and how they train so it was great to have them say congratulations. It meant a lot to me.
TV Universal Sports will broadcast the Lienz slalom at 2 p.m. ET on its 24-hour TV network.