Mikaela Shiffrin holds the slalom globe in the Aspen finish at World Cup Finals. (Getty Images-Tom Pennington)
ASPEN, CO (Mar. 18, 2017) - On a sunny day in Aspen, 22-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) took home her fourth slalom crystal globe in five years and clinched the coveted overall crystal globe at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals.
While Shiffrin didn’t win Saturday’s slalom, she took second place behind Petra Vlhova of Slovakia. Shiffrin was placed third after first run—just .07 seconds behind Vlhova—and though she put down a fast run second run to bump Frida Hansdotter of Sweden to third, she couldn’t take the win.
“It’s not always about the globe or World Cup points, but racing at home in front of the crowd and putting on a show,” said Shiffrin. “For sure I wanted to win, but today was just as good of a show with Petra taking the lead at the final split. It’s really cool for her and cool for me. The crowd was cheering for me, but for her too.”
Mikaela Shiffrin smiles after winning her slalom globe. Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia was second in the chase and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland third.
Sunday will be first time in five years that an American woman will hoist the overall crystal globe, but Shiffrin showed off her slalom globe on Saturday in front of the 7,000-person crowd in Aspen. Shiffrin joins an elite crowd of American ski racers that have won the overall World Cup title, including Tamara McKinney (Squaw Valley, CA), Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), Phil Mahre (Yakima, WA) and Bode Miller (Franconia, NH).
Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia trailed Shiffrin by 198 points prior to Saturday’s race, but with Stuhec making the decision to not race the slalom, Shiffrin sealed up the overall.
“It’s odd to say I won something in ski racing when I wasn’t actually out there,” said Shiffrin. “It feels a little more real today and it will feel more real tomorrow when I’m actually holding it. But it’s something hard to describe.”
Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) was the only other American woman to race the slalom, finishing 19th.
Shiffrin hoists her Atomic skis in celebration in the finish. (Getty Images-Francis Bompard)
Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) was the lone American to compete in the men’s giant slalom Saturday, taking 18th place. Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), who has won the giant slalom globe five times and is recovering from back surgery, cheered him on in the finish.
“It’s been a learning year,” said Ford, who finished in the top 20 four times this season. “I’ve been progressing throughout the years and keep moving through. I think that was a good second run and I’m psyched for nationals.”
Although Marcel Hirscher of Austria had already wrapped up the giant slalom, slalom and overall crystal globe, he didn’t hold back in the GS. He had a come-from-behind victory, taking the win by over half a second, bringing his season win tally to six. Felix Neureuther of Germany was second and Mathieu Faivre of France third.
The World Cup Finals wraps Sunday with the men’s slalom and women’s giant slalom. Tessa Worley holds an 80-point lead over Shiffrin in the hunt for the GS globe. In order for Shiffrin to win it, Worley has to finish 16th place or lower, while Shiffrin has to win or be second. Both Shiffrin and Worley have won three giant slalom races this season.
Shiffrin skis to second place in the Aspen World Cup Finals slalom. (Getty Images-Tom Pennington)
Mikaela Shiffrin took second in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals slalom.
Shiffrin won the slalom crystal globe for the fourth time in five years. She had clinched the title prior to the race.
Shiffrin clinched the overall World Cup crystal globe.
Behind Shiffrin, Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia was second in the slalom crystal globe chase with Wendy Holdener of Switzerland third.
Overall crystal globe winner in the 1982-83 season Tamara McKinney was in attendance to watch Shiffrin. Canadian Nancy Greene, who was the first crystal globe winner in 1966-67 and 1967-68, was also in attendance.
Marcel Hirscher won the men’s giant slalom, along with the slalom globe. He has also clinched the giant slalom and overall crystal globe.
Mikaela Shiffrin I love this hill. I really like racing here. I’ve had great results here and I’ve had almost really good results here, so it’s a new day and a good opportunity to ski fast. It’s the last race of the season, so I’m excited.
I wouldn’t call today a bad day. I was disappointed with some of my skiing, but also happy with some of my skiing. Second place is never bad.
(On winning the overall crystal globe) It’s incredible. The odd thing is that I don’t know how I feel about it—I’m happy, it’s a good thing. When I found out yesterday—I was in my hotel room, taking a nap, and my mom said Ilka’s not racing the slalom, so now on paper you’ve won the overall.
It’s odd to say I won something in ski racing when I wasn’t actually out there. It feels a little more real today and it will feel more real tomorrow when I’m actually holding it. But it’s something hard to describe.
I remember when Tina Maze had her big, big season (in 2012-13) and she said to me at the end, ‘Don’t do every event. It’s so exhausting.’ Now a couple years later, I understand. I feel fatigued. It’s a tough balance.
(On taking the slalom globe) Today I have the slalom globe, but my other goal is to win every single slalom. I don’t know if I’ll ever do it but that’s the kind of ambition I have. I wanted to finish out the season strong.
It’s not always about the globe or World Cup points, but racing at home in front of the crowd and putting on a show. For sure I wanted to win, but today was just as good of a show with Petra taking the lead at the final split. It’s really cool for her and cool for me. The crowd was cheering for me, but for her too.
It takes a huge, huge village. All of my sponsors—Atomic especially with the skis and it’s always a fight to have the best equipment out there so I can put out my best skiing. My mom is my biggest supporter, and my coaches, my physio, my service man, the rest of my family. There are a lot of people that go into making a champion. It’s not just my success, it’s everybody who has given me something along the way.
Tommy Ford It’s been a learning year. I’ve been progressing throughout the years and keep moving through. I think that was a good second run and I’m psyched for nationals.
(World Cup Finals) is just another race—just one added race. It’s not anything different, but it’s cool to have it as a sign of a consistent season. I’m building consistency but I still have some work to do.
Resi Stiegler My second half of the season has kind of been like today where I’m a little too nervous or I stumble or do something that is so costly. Second run, you can go for it as much as you want, but my style is pretty solid these days, so it’s hard to let loose and not make a bigger mistake. I just went for it. I want to get better results; that’s the point. My skiing is there, so I just need to believe.
I think I was in a really good groove in December and January and then we had this massive break into the World Championships. I think I just lost my groove a bit. Every race, I was trying to get it and I just kept making too many mistakes.
BROADCAST (all times EDT)
Sunday, March 19 11:00 - Women's GS - run 1 - nbcsports.com/live - LIVE STREAM 12:00 - Men's GS - run 1 - nbcsports.com/live - LIVE STREAM 1:00 p.m. – Men and women’s giant slalom - run 2 - NBCSN - LIVE
WORLD CUP WINNERS/LEADERS Men Overall - Marcel Hirscher, Austria Downhill - Peter Fill, Italy Super G - Kjetil Jansrud, Norway Giant Slalom - Marcel Hirscher, Austria Slalom - Marcel Hirscher, Austria Alpine Combined - Alexis Pinturault, France
Women Overall - Mikaela Shiffrin, USA Downhill - Ilka Stuhec, Slovenia Super G – Tina Weirather, Liechtenstein Giant Slalom - Tessa Worley, France - holds 80 point lead over Mikaela Shiffrin Slalom - Mikaela Shiffrin, USA Alpine Combined - Ilka Stuhec, Slovenia