Shiffrin looks to keep streaks going at Killington World Cup races
After two straight wins to start the season, Shiffrin looks to win sixth-straight Killington slalom on Sunday
If John Madden had to describe the Mikaela Shiffrin-version of a turducken, he’d probably say something like, “Now, now, you see what we got here is (draws random lines across the T.V. screen) a regular winning streak wrapped in a really, really big winning streak, baked inside an all-time record.”
The American star, home — sort of — for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, is bringing a couple of streaks and a few different record attempts into the Killington World Cup on Saturday (giant slalom) and Sunday (slalom).
First of all, she’s 2-for-2 this season, having swept both slaloms in Levi (FIN) last weekend. Further, the Vail Valley native has won all five slalom events ever held at the Vermont resort, located just two hours down the road from Burke Mountain Academy, the Olympic champion’s old stomping grounds.
“She has won every single year and we are going to see if she can again,” Kristel Killary, communications manager for Killington, told MassLive.com on Thursday. “She is such a favorite. When she comes down the course, the energy from the crowd is amazing. You don’t have to look up to know she is coming down.”
All that winning means extra pressure for the 27-year-old, who could become the first female Alpine skier in history to win the first three separate World Cup races of a season if she can win Saturday’s giant slalom. For those looking to make a quick fact-check, it should be noted that in 1979, Marie-Theres Nadig won ‘three’ events (downhill, giant slalom and Alpine combined) but those constitute only two races, as the combine classification was made up of the results of the downhill and giant slalom events.
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“This expectation just builds and builds, and I think I’ll feel some pressure,” NBC reported her saying last Sunday in Levi. “When you win, that actually only gets harder.”
In order to get that record and keep that streak alive (see, you really did need the turducken metaphor), she’ll need a slight improvement upon her previous Killington giant slalom results (5th, 2nd, 4th and 3rd in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively). She’ll also need to dispatch a crew of giant slalom specialists eager to get the season going after the scheduled opener in Solden (AUT) was canceled back in October. That includes 2018 Killington champion Federica Brignone and fellow Italian Marta Bassino, both of whom have spent time training at Copper Mountain this month.
As for other potential record-breaking moments — well, let’s just say the guy at Elias Sports Bureau tasked solely with keeping track of Shiffrin’s records (and soon-to-be records) is already longing for April. Last week, she tied Vreni Schneider (1984/85-1994/95) and Renate Götschl by winning at least one race in 11 consecutive seasons. The big one, though, remains the pursuit of Lindsey Vonn’s all-time women’s World Cup wins record (82) and Ingemar Stenmark’s overall mark (86).
10 a.m. ET – Women’s giant slalom (run 1) – Killington, Vermont, streaming on Outside
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022
10:15 a.m. ET, Women’s slalom (run 1) – Killington, Vermont, streaming on Outside
One thing is for sure, Shiffrin — though she’d be justified to do so — isn’t resting on her laurels.
“As soon as you cross the finishing line the clock resets and when you wake up tomorrow you have to earn it all over again,” Shiffrin posted on social media after arriving in the U.S. this week.
Saturday’s first giant slalom goes off at 8 a.m. MST with the second following at 11 a.m. and will feature SSCV alumnae Allie Resnick and Ava Sunshine. Sunday’s slalom runs are 8:15 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively. To watch events held in the U.S. and Austria, fans will need to turn to Outside and/or Peacock and NBC instead of skiandsnowboard.live.