Shiffrin Clinches 86th Win,Ties Stenmark For Most World Cup Wins

On Friday, March 10, 2023 at the site of her first career win in 2012, Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete Mikaela Shiffrin won her 86th World Cup race in Åre, Sweden, tying Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark for the most Word Cup wins by any alpine skier in history. 
“This is just a spectacular day,” said Shiffrin after the race. “It's a pretty spectacular position to be in. I don’t take it for granted to be in this place where people ask me when I’m going to win 86 or 87. That’s a pretty cool place to be, even though it can be difficult to focus sometimes, but today I felt like the focus was there when I needed it to be. It was really fun to ski and that is how I hope it would be.”
The win also clinched Shiffrin the giant slalom crystal globe, making her the most dominant giant slalom skier throughout the 2022-23 season. She already clinched the slalom globe and the overall title. She also now has a women’s record 20 World Cup victories in giant slalom, tying her with Vreni Schneider.
Stenmark dominated the men's slalom and giant slalom disciplines for a decade from 1975 before retiring in 1989. Stenmark’s record 86 victories has stood the test of time for 34 years.
“His legacy is synonymous with ski racing,” said Shiffrin. “If anyone knows anything about ski racing at all and even if they don’t, they know Ingemar Stenmark. I don’t think that will ever pass. He set the standard for what ski racing has become.” 
Stenmark passed the compliment right back to Shiffrin—the two share a comparable humble nature. “She’s much better than I was. You cannot compare,” Stenmark said of Shiffrin. “She has everything. She has good physical strength, she has a good technique, strong head. I think it’s the combination of everything makes her so good.”
Shiffrin was able to send him a video message after the race, stating, “No matter what I do, it doesn’t ever compare what to what he achieved. Maybe I get the 87th victory or maybe not, but the biggest dream is to be mentioned in the same sentence as you. Who you are and who you were as a ski racer and what you achieved as a human—that’s been the most inspiring thing.”  
The new record comes just 46 days after Shiffrin claimed the title of the winningest woman alpine skier in history with 83 victories when she won the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Kronplatz, Italy. 
Shiffrin had entered the start gate in Are, Sweden, on Friday with the key target of clinching the GS crystal globe. But Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI), the only athlete close to Shiffrin in that tussle, missed a gate early on run one. This granted the American that initial prize, removing some pressure immediately.

Relaxed on an icy piste, the American showed all the genius, guile and grit that has guided her since her breakthrough as an electric teenage debutant.
Shiffrin had a stand-out day in Åre, winning first run by almost six tenths and skiing a smart second run to take the win by .64 seconds. This was her second time clinching the giant slalom globe for the second time in her career. She came through the finish and put her hands over her face second run, as her Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team teammates celebrated in the finish. This is Shiffrin’s 12th victory of the 2022-23 season.
Shiffrin’s 86th victory came at the venue of her first World Cup win in 2012. Now 27 years old, Shiffrin is rewriting alpine skiing history for generations to come. 
“86 wins is truly remarkable, but what makes Mikaela profoundly special is her kindness, humility and ability to inspire the world,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, President and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “We are so proud to have her as part of our team. We are excited to see her break the record and continue to dominate for years to come.”
Shiffrin’s success began at a young age. At only 17, Shiffrin won her first World Cup in an Åre, Sweden slalom in December 2012, and became the second-youngest American to win an alpine World Cup. While she originally specialized in slalom, and continues to be dominant in the discipline, having won six of the nine slalom races this season alone, she expanded her repertoire over the years to become a force in all six disciplines. In 2019, she became the first ski racer in history to win in every event: downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, alpine combined and parallel. 
Shiffrin took her first giant slalom win in 2015 at the season-opener in Soelden. Her first super-G win was in Lake Louise, Canada in 2019, where she also won her first downhill in 2018. She won an alpine combined in Crans-Montana, Switzerland in 2017 and her first parallel at a city event in Stockholm, Sweden in 2017. 
Shiffrin holds 12 World Cup crystal globes in three different disciplines, including four overall titles, as well as 14 World Championships medals—seven golds, four silvers and three bronzes—and three Olympic medals. She has also already clinched the 2023 slalom, giant slalom and overall globe. 
Those in closest contention to her capitulated on run two: Franziska Gritsch (AUT), lying third, crashed out, while Valerie Grenier (CAN), in second, somehow recovered from sliding near-horizontally round a mid-course gate, but lost a crucial chunk of time.

Only Federica Brignone (ITA) was as bold as Shiffrin on run two, but had left herself too much to do, and finished second (+0.64).

All that was left for the Italian was to salute her rival. “Mikaela is skiing so great, she deserved another win,” she said. “She is amazing. She is attacking, her technique is just perfect. What more can I say?

“I was really attacking and risking a lot. The goal was to try to catch Mikaela and I tried my best. I am happy because I’m again second, again on the podium. I know I can ski good for the [World Cup] finals, and play the game in the super-G and GS. I’m really excited.”

Sara Hector (SWE) delighted the home crowds, meanwhile, with a bustling pair of runs to get bronze (+0.92).

“It was really fun to race, and such a great feeling to do this at home in Sweden,” she said. “Last year I lost the globe here, so I thought I would get something, and it turned out good.

“I have so much history on this slope. I took my first podium ever here, my first World Cup, my first bad injury. My best and worst are here.”
The day however, was Shiffrin’s, and left the legendary Hermann Maier saying: “it’s just a number today. I am sure she will end up with a three figure total.”

Shiffrin’s sixth GS win from nine races this season also equalled another record: this was her 20th giant slalom title, putting her level on GS World Cup titles with Vreni Schneider (SUI).

The victory meanwhile pushed her up to 1928 points overall, putting the 2000 point single-season barrier in sight (only previously beaten by Maier and Tina Maze).

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