Seventeen-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin was third in the opening Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom in Levi, Finland (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alain Grosclaude)
LEVI, Finland (Nov. 10) – Seventeen-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin converted a trip to the Arctic Circle into the second Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom podium of her career after finishing third in Levi. While she doesn't yet have a driver's license or a high school diploma – she graduates from Burke Mountain Academy next spring – the podium came in only the 12th World Cup slalom start of her young career. Olympic slalom champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany won with Finn local Tanja Poutianen in second as wind and challenging light drifted in and out of both runs. Universal Sports will air the race at 10 a.m. ET. The World Cup tour now swings to North America for the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational Nov. 24-25 in Aspen, CO.
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO), 17, finished third in the opening Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom held north of the Arctic Circle in Levi, Finland.
It was the second podium of her young career and came in only her 12th World Cup slalom start. The first was Dec. 29, 2011 with third in Lienz, Austria.
Shiffrin was third after the first run and held her position to finish .74 seconds behind German Maria Hoefl-Riesch. Finland's Tanja Poutianen was second.
Following the Oct. 27 World Cup opener, Shiffrin remained at the U.S. Ski Team's European Training Base in Soelden, Austria to prepare for Levi.
At the close of the 2012 season, Shiffrin was voted by her peers as Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Rookie of the Year.
Reigning overall champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) and Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) opted to stay in Colorado to train for the Nov. 24-25 Nature Valley Aspen Winternational in Aspen, CO.
Universal Sports TV will provide top to bottom coverage at 10:00 a.m. ET with a repeat at 2:30 and 8 p.m. Subscribers can also watch online including live streaming of all Audi FIS Alpine World Cups. Click for access information and to learn how you can help get Universal Sports on your local cable network.
QUOTES Mikaela Shiffrin I felt confident because I had a plan to just ski like I do in training and I knew I could do that. I wasn't worried about what place I was going to come in. I was definitely nervous but I knew I could execute my plan.
On Tweeting "Let's dance" between runs It's a quote from Avatar. One of my friends and I used to use that quote all the time. In the movie, he's trying to tame a wild beast. It helped me get in the right mindset.
It's so cool for me to race and be on the podium with these girls. They are still so much my heroes, but they are also my friends. They're so gracious about everything that they do and that makes this so much better. Whether I'm on the podium with them, training or racing against these girls – it feels like a family.
I cannot wait to get home to Colorado, to train in Vail and to race in Aspen. I love this early season time over there. It's just beautiful, maybe it's the smell of the air or something, but it just feels like home.
Roland Pfeifer, Technical Head Coach After Soelden she was a little frustrated. She had good training runs and her expectations were really high. She was a little nervous that it would be the same in slalom – ski great in practice and not accomplish her goals in the race – but she worked through the pressure and skied with confidence.
She has a full team of coaches here to support her and she knows the expectations we all have on her. In the end, it's up to her to ski the way she knows she can and she did that in Levi. I couldn't be more proud of her.
We'll be back in Colorado on Tuesday and begin training again with Resi [Stiegler] to start our preparation for Aspen.