Mikaela Shiffrin closing in on fourth World Cup overall title
Women’s World Cup heads to Are, Sweden for giant slalom and slalom
After second and fourth place finishes last weekend, Mikaela Shiffrin is back in the driver’s seat.
The 26-year-old Edwards resident currently leads the FIS World Cup overall standings by a healthy 117 points over slalom rival and defending overall globe winner Petra Vlhova, who had a DNF in the super-G and an 18th in the giant slalom on the Lenzerheide, Switzerland hill.
Shiffrin, who won three-straight crowns from 2017-2019, would tie Lindsey Vonn for the most ever by an American skier if she can finish on top. Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll holds the all-time record with six. Shiffrin does have the record for slalom globes (6), a title already secured by Vlhova for the second time as the World Cup heads into its final two weekends of action.
“After the last couple of weeks, I really appreciate this,” Shiffrin told NBC Sports after her podium last Saturday. After a rough Olympics where her best individual performance was ninth, the two-time gold medalist has been transparent in expressing her rawest emotions.
“I’ve been actually pretty awful to be around with my team. They’re trying to lift me up a bit. Not because of the Olympics, but of course it’s a big part of it. It’s just been heavy. Everything felt really, really heavy on my mind and on my heart,” she said to NBC Sports.
“I finally just actually enjoyed skiing for a day. I just want to focus on that.”
After the Are, Sweden event, the World Cup culminates in Courchevel/Méribel, France Mar. 14-20 with a full slate of events.
1. Mikaela Shiffrin, USA – 1,156
2. Petra Vlhova, SVK – 1,039
3. Federica Brignone, ITA – 931
4. Sofia Goggia, ITA – 851
5. Sara Hector, SWE – 742
U.S. Ski Team Notes
After a fourth-place finish in giant slalom at the Winter Olympics in February, River Radamus is heading to Kranjska Gora to race the GS twice this weekend (Mar. 12-13) and continue a banner 2021-2022 campaign which has seen the prodigious talent continue to assert himself as a mature force to be reckoned with on a regular basis.
Coming into the season, the Vail skier’s best finish in the giant slalom season standings was just 25th. Radamus currently sits in ninth place in the giant slalom season standings, just two points behind Jan Kranjec of Slovenia and a mere 88 points behind France’s Alexis Pinturault. Athletes earn 100 points for a win, 80 for second, 60 for third along a descending points scale which awards through 30th place.
The three-time Youth Olympic Games gold medalist and two-time World Junior winner’s progression has been gradual. In 2020, he accumulated 18 World Cup points. That number was 57 last season and has ballooned to 126 in 2022. Including this weekend’s events, the 24-year-old will contest his specialty discipline three more times, as the World Cup Finals in France Marc. 14-20 will also race a single giant slalom.
Kai Owens and Elizabeth Lemley were named to the 2022 FIS Freestyle Junior World Ski Championship team this week. U.S. Ski & Snowboard named 16 athletes to represent the nation in Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy, March 25-29. Aerials, mixed team aerials, moguls and dual moguls will be contested, as well the first-ever team dual moguls FIS-sanctioned competition in history.
Lemley burst onto the scene with a fourth-place finish in her World Cup debut as a 15-year-old in Tremblant, Canada Jan. 7. The next day, she was seventh. She followed that up with a sixth and fifth in Deer Valley Jan. 13-14 in the final Olympic tryout event. Now 16, Lemley has won five of her last six events, with her only “blemish” being a second-place finish in Val St-Come, Canada on Feb. 6.
Owens finished 10th at the 2022 Beijing Olympic moguls, her first Olympic appearance. She may get a sneak peek at the World Junior venue as the World Cup travels to Chiesa in Valmalenco for dual moguls Mar. 12. The final World Cup is Mar. 18-19 in Megeve, France.
“We are thrilled with the talented group of young athletes representing the U.S. in aerial and mogul skiing at this year’s Junior World Ski Championships,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Sport Development Senior Manager Ashley Diebold in a press release.
“We are excited to have four Olympians participating. Each athlete named to this year’s team has experience competing at the highest level of their sport and we cannot wait to see what they accomplish.”
Vail’s Allie Resnick placed 17th in the slalom Tuesday and 17th in the giant slalom Wednesday to wrap up the final day of the FIS Junior World Alpine Ski Championships in Panorama, Canada. Ava Sunshine Jemison, who resides in Edwards and has attended Ski and Snowboard Club Vail as well as Burke Academy, was ninth in Tuesday’s slalom. Jemison also earned a silver medal in the super-G earlier in the competition. Full results are available on the FIS website.