Exhausted and probably a little disbelieving, Mikaela Shiffrin leaned forward, the defeated opponents applauded her appreciatively in the target area. With her victory in the giant slalom at Kronplatz, the ski racer from the USA wrote another chapter in sports history.
With 83 World Cup successes, she is now the sole record holder for alpine women. So far, Shiffrin had shared the top of the all-time list with her compatriot Lindsey Vonn, who retired in 2019. Now she has one more win than her ex-teammate - and already has her sights set on the next record.
"I'm really speechless with such a performance and can only take my hat off," said the impressed former giant slalom Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg as a TV expert at Eurosport. "It's an unbelievable number." This is the "next milestone" in Shiffrin's career, emphasized Vonn. "An incredible performance that I hope Mikaela can enjoy." She congratulates the 27-year-old from Colorado "for raising the bar for all future skiers".
All-time record feasible
If Shiffrin stays in top form, she should break Ingemar Stenmark's all-time record this winter. The Swede is just ahead of her with 86 World Cup victories. Another giant slalom is scheduled for Wednesday at Plan de Corones. Shiffrin, the four-time overall World Cup winner, two-time Olympic champion and six-time world champion, is the big favorite again. She has now won more than every third of her previous 238 World Cup races - an unbelievable rate.
"It was just so great to drive here," said Shiffrin after her triumph on the edge of the Dolomites. "The conditions were perfect." Before the second run, in which she was the leader, she was nervous. "After all these years it's still hard for me to believe that as the leader I can keep my mental strength in the second round," explained the exceptional performer. That doesn't come naturally to her.
Shiffrin was 0.45 seconds ahead of second-placed world champion Lara Gut-Behrami from Switzerland. Third place went to Federica Brignone from Italy (1.43 seconds) in her home race. They both clapped as Shiffrin reached the target area. The technology specialist had once again driven as if cast from a single mold - and thus to the next historic success in her career.