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Mikaela Shiffrin claims all-time World Cup record with 87th win, eclipsing Ingemar Stenmark

New York Post logo: MainLogo New York Post 3/12/2023 Bridget Reilly

What was once tied is now broken.

On Saturday morning, Mikaela Shiffrin became the greatest alpine skier of all time with her 87th World Cup win.

Shiffrin surpassed Ingemar Stenmark’s long-held record of 86 wins set in 1989, which she tied Friday by 0.64 seconds in a giant slalom race in Stenmark’s home country of Sweden.

She was in good company to celebrate her historic day, as she was joined by teammate Paula Moltzan, who placed fourth on the day.

Shiffrin’s mom Eileen, her sister-in-law Kristi and brother Taylor also came to surprise the skier during the award ceremony.

This achievement puts Shiffrin in the same realm as Serena Williams, Michael Jordan and Tom Brady, but in the world of alpine skiing, all just days away from turning 28.

Of course, Shiffrin would not put herself there, as the humble skier that she is.

She does not focus on the number as many others have. Rather, she focuses on the moment at hand each race and does the best she can.

🗣️EIGHTY. SEVEN. @mikaelashiffrin is officially in a league of her own. 🔥#stifelusalpineteam @fisalpine

— U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team (@usskiteam) March 11, 2023

“I’ve said it the whole time, I don’t know how to define that,” Shiffrin said in regard to the record to the Associated Press. “But when you have these special moments … seeing my brother and (sister-in-law) Kristi and my mom (and coach, Eileen) in the finish today, that’s what makes it memorable.”

Similar to Stenmark, the slalom race is Shiffrin’s specialty, which is more focused on technique than speed, and she has won 53 of them.

She achieved her 87th overall win in her signature race almost three years faster than the 66-year-old did in a bit more than 15 years of professional skiing.

In meant-to-be fashion, Åre, Sweden was the site of her first World Cup win back in 2012, which was also a slalom race, and she accomplished this feat 12 years to the day.

Tapping her poles in the start gate, Shiffrin sped down and held the lead after the first run, which she has done in 40 of her 53 slalom wins, which ESPN reported equals a dominant stat of 78 percent of the time.

“I still had the feeling at the start of this run that I have every race, it’s like, I shouldn’t feel pressure. But somehow I feel something in my heartbeat,” she said.

In the end, Shiffrin had a 0.92 edge over Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener, third-place home favorite Anna Swenn Larsson was over by 0.95 and Moltzan finished 1.54 behind.

“The best feeling is to ski on the second run when of course you want to win, you have a lead so you have to be sort of be smart, but also, I just wanted to be fast, too, and ski the second run like its own race.”

“I did exactly that and that is amazing.”

Shiffrin adds to her already heavy accolade season having won six total slalom races so far this season. Her overall resume adds another big headline, as she is also the only skier, man or woman, to have won in all six skiing disciplines – slalom, giant slalom, super-G, parallel, downhill and combined.

Not long ago in late January, Shiffrin surpassed fellow American skier Lindsey Vonn for the most World Cup wins by a woman with her 83rd win.

The historical day is now here after a time when it felt like it would never come at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, where Shiffrin left tragically without a medal two years after her father, Jeff, passed away.

He would have turned 69 on Wednesday.

Would have been your 69th.

Happy Birthday Dad.


— Mikaela Shiffrin (@MikaelaShiffrin) March 8, 2023

Three years later after the world didn’t know if they would see Shiffrin race again, she hit another peak with more left to climb.

Stenmark tuned in to Shiffrin’s tying run on Friday, which was one second faster than her highly talented competitors and gave her 0.58 seconds of a lead going into her second run.

The winning margin was 0.64 seconds.

© Provided by New York Post Swedish ski champion Ingemar Stenmark celebrates after winning the men’s slalom at the Olympic Games in Lake Placid.AFP via Getty Images

She spoke to him on camera after her achievement, showing her respect and awe of his career.

“No matter what I do, it doesn’t ever compare to what you achieved,” Shiffrin said. “Maybe I get the 87th victory, maybe not. But for me, the biggest dream is to be mentioned in the same sentence as you.”

The respect is mutual between these two, as Stenmark has said he believes Shiffrin can win more than 100 and that she is “much better than I was.”

The tying win on Friday also tied Swiss skier Vreni Schneider’s women’s all-time giant slalom record at 20 career World Cup wins.

“It’s pretty hard to describe – and it’s not over yet, which is even more ridiculous,” she said, as she now looks toward next week’s World Cup Finals in Soldeu, Andorra and  followers of Shiffrin can expect to see her in at least the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy.


New York Post

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