Goggia overcomes injury to win St. Moritz downhill as Shiffrin skis into fourth | VailDaily.com

Goggia overcomes injury to win St. Moritz downhill as Shiffrin skis into fourth

American just misses 124th-career podium but establishes herself as a true speed-event threat

Mikaela Shiffrin speeds down the course during Saturday's World Cup downhill race in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Shiffrin placed fourth.
Giovanni Maria Pizzato/AP photo

Move over, Kirk Gibson, Michael Jordan and Kerri Strug. The ‘flu game, walk-off homer and miracle vault didn’t involve coming back from injury to speed down a mountain at 80-miles-per hour. While it’s maybe a little dramatic (Strug, you don’t actually have to move over…), the storyline from Saturday’s St. Moritz downhill actually started on Friday: 24 hours after being air-lifted to the hospital for surgery on a broken hand, Sofia Goggia found her way to the top of the podium.

“Yesterday it was broken, today it was already fixed,” Goggia told FIS after winning her third downhill race of the season, covering the full-length Corviglia course 0.43 seconds faster than Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec. Germany’s Kira Weidle claimed third.

“I couldn’t push at the start gate and this is why I didn’t have the gap of the training runs, but half a second is enough,” Goggia remarked after skiing with her trademark aggressiveness. “Also one hundredth of a second is enough.”

After being flown via helicopter to Milan after Friday’s race, where she injured her hand after drilling the third gate, she was questionable to race on Saturday.

“I’m really happy, I’m really grateful because it was not guaranteed at all that I could be at the start gate today,” she continued.

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“I really understand that it was a bit risky, but I said to myself that after Beijing (Goggia recovered from a knee injury to win silver in the 2022 Olympic downhill), I could endure everything and this is exactly what I did.”

On the American front, Mikaela Shiffrin cemented her status as a legitimate downhill threat, placing fourth, just 0.61 off Goggia’s mark, a day after finishing sixth. While Friday’s miserable conditions presented snow and fog, Saturday’s event went off without a hitch under a perfect, sunny blue sky.

Mikaela Shiffrin reacts after crossing the finish line to finish fourth at the women’s World Cup downhill race in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Saturday. Italy’s Sofia Goggia won the event, one day removed from breaking her hand.
Marco Trovati/AP photo

“I just tried to be strong and tried to be in my tuck as much as I could, so I’m really happy,” the Edwards skier told FIS reporters. The 27-year-old remains in first in the overall standings and is 11th in the downhill discipline after Saturday. Isabella Wright finished 11th, Breezy Johnson was 25th, Tricia Mangan was 40th, Laura Macuga was 43rd and Keely Cashman placed 48th for the stars and stripes. The weekend concludes with a super-G on Sunday.

Johnson and Lemley head into holiday break with top-15 finishes in Alpe d’Huez

The Alpe d’Huez World Cup moguls event concluded Saturday morning in France, and Liz Lemley and Tess Johnson, two SSCV skiers, finished the final event before Christmas with top-15 finishes. Johnson placed 13th and Lemley placed eighth in Saturday’s dual moguls. Anri Kawamura defeated Perrine Laffont in the final, while Anthony Jakara — Friday’s individual moguls winner — took third.

The World Cup calendar picks back up in Val St. Come, Canada on Jan. 27-28.

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