Women's Winter Sport: Mikaela Shiffrin returns to the World Cup circuit and makes it 43 slalom wins in Austria

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Mikaela Shiffrin finished the decade in style winning her second race of the weekend taking home first place in the slalom event in Lienz.

The American three-time overall champion continued her unbeaten streak in the slalom this season, taking home a third first place.

The result is especially impressive following her break from the World Cup circuit after a difficult race in Courchevel.

Shiffrin now matches skiing legend Lindsey Vonn’s record for most women’s World Cup victories in a single discipline, both women now hold 43.

After securing first position in the slalom event Shiffrin became the first skier, regardless of gender, to make 14 World Cup slalom podiums, winning all but one of the 14 races.

“I don’t really remember what happened during the [second] run, but it was good,” said Shiffrin, who led nearest rival Petra Vlhova by 0.26 seconds after the first run.

“I could see her from the start, and I knew she was charging.”

Vlhova set the then-fastest time in her second run but Shiffrin was able to cut 0.61 seconds off her fastest time to take home her 43rd World Cup slalom gold. Swiss skier Michelle Gisin was third another 1.72 seconds behind.

A winning weekend

Shiffrin’s win in the slalom event came after she returned to the giant slalom event on Saturday following what she described as a ‘soul-healing’ break from competition.

On her return, Shiffrin was able to win the giant slalom event despite nearly missing the start of the race.

The 24-year-old decided to skip the World Cup visit to Val d’Isere after finishing 17th in the Giant Slalom event in the previous meet at Courchevel.

“We skipped Val d’Isere because I felt like I wasn’t doing my job,” Shiffrin said.

It sounds a little bit stupid, actually, to say the last week was a tough time because I still have already an amazing season. One bad race, it’s stupid, really. It’s just ski racing. But I care.

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“This season has been really, really difficult. I know I say it doesn’t matter what I did last season [record 17 World Cup wins]. … But when you go through every single race and people are saying, well this is what you did last year. This is how many points you had last year. By this time last year you had won in multiple disciplines and all these things, I’m starting to compare every step with what I did last season, a season that might never happen again.

“I had to change a lot of things this last week and also change my attitude and come into this race really not expecting to win and knowing that I don’t deserve to win. … Doing those two runs was really, really special, and it meant a lot more that you can’t sum it up on paper.”

Shiffrin finishes this decade by equalling Vonn’s record and setting a new record of her own. Her win today in the slalom came on the eighth anniversary of her first World Cup podium at the same venue in Lienz, Austria, she’s clearly an athlete who will make an impact in the decade to come.

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