Get used to this victory smile! Teenager Mikaela Shiffrin won her first Audi FIS World Cup with a slalom victory under the lights in Are, Sweden. (Getty Images/AFP-Jonathan Nackstrand)
ARE, Sweden (Dec. 20) - Teenager Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) scored an historic first victory in an Audi FIS Alpine World Cup, taking a slalom win under the lights in Are. The 17-year-old Shiffrin came back from a .15 deficit to ski a literally flawless second run and post a .29 second win over Sweden's Frida Hansdotter. The win boosted her into the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom lead going into the holiday break. Shiffrin will be back in action Dec. 28-29 in Semmering, Austria, outside Vienna.
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) won her first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup, taking a .29 second slalom victory under the lights in Are, Sweden.
Shiffrin (17 years, 9 months, 7 days) became the third youngest American to win an alpine World Cup behind Kiki Cutter (16 years, 7 months, 1 day) and Judy Nagel (17 years, 5 months, 12 days)
Diann Roffe was also 17 when she won her first World Cup, Tamara McKinney and Cindy Nelson winning at 18, Barbara Ann Cochran, Phil Mahre and Julie Parisien at 19. Lindsey Vonn was 20 for her first World Cup victory.
Shiffrin now leads the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom standings by 22 over Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch. She is 11th overall.
Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) was 27th for her first points since returning from injury.
The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup travels to Semmering, Austria, just outside Vienna, for a giant slalom and slalom Dec. 28-29.
Universal Sports TV will re-air the Are slalom at 8:00 p.m. EST Thursday evening.
QUOTES Mikaela Shiffrin I was just trying to fly.
I couldn’t imagine what winning (a World Cup race) would feel like. I only knew the feeling of knowing you’ve skied your best.
I love this hill. It has everything - flats and steeps and you can really charge all the way. I felt alright (ahead of the race). But I didn’t feel one hundred percent. But I know from the past that sometimes that’s actually an advantage for me. I felt the stars were aligned. It wasn’t two perfect runs but it was two fast runs. Ahead of the second run, I guess I didn’t really feel any pressure. It felt more like something was pushing me forward rather than something pulling me towards the finish line.
My only focus is just to ski my best every day. I’ll be happy with a World Championship medal or a 15th place, as long as I’m skiing my best.
My mom is my biggest help. She keeps me focused and grounded. I’m sure she’ll talk to me in the next couple of days to make sure my head doesn’t get too big. Right now I want to hug her a lot. She'll be here for Christmas with my dad. Right now I just need to calm down and regroup.
Kiki Cutter (youngest American to win World Cup when she won Oslo slalom in 1968 - the first World Cup win ever by an American) I met Mikaela last summer and she is indeed a great kid with a wonderful ski future in front of her. I am sure that we are going to see many more victories from Mikaela.
I really did not realize what a big deal it was to win the first World Cup of any American. But when I got off the plane Billy Kidd congratulated me and I thought that was pretty cool. Plus, I met King Olaf and that was huge - a little girl from Bend meeting a king - doesn’t get much better than that.
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