Shiffrin sixth as Curtoni, Goggia finish 1-2 in St. Moritz World Cup downhill |

Shiffrin sixth as Curtoni, Goggia finish 1-2 in St. Moritz World Cup downhill

Shiffrin extends lead in overall standings as downhill leader Goggia gets injured

Mikaela Shiffrin waves after completing the World Cup downhill race in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Friday.
Marco Trovati/AP photo

On Friday, Mikaela Shiffrin said it’s really nice to ski in St. Moritz “when it’s sunny.” Then again, if difficult conditions present a competitive advantage, she’ll take it, as long as she gets to the finish line unscathed.

“I feel quite good. It’s certainly not easy; it’s challenging conditions and (makes) the heart beat go faster,” the star told reporters after her sixth-place finish at Friday morning’s St. Moritz, Switzerland World Cup downhill, the Edwards star’s 2022-23 debut in the speed event.

“When the sun comes out and the work they do on the course — it should be faster again,” she continued. “For me, I maybe had a better advantage today with a little bit slower speed. I have to reset my mind for tomorrow that maybe the speed is higher and I need to still keep a strong position.”

Shiffrin, who won her last downhill at the end of last season — a March 16th win in the Courchevel/Meribel, France World Cup Finals (a victory that secured her fourth overall globe), was the second American — Breezy Johnson placed fifth — running the 1,950-meter Corviglia course in 1 minute, 10.63 seconds.

Italians Elena Curtoni (1:09.40) and Sofia Goggia (1:09.69) finished 1-2, but Goggia came away with an injured left hand after hitting the third of 27 gates on the course, which drops 550 meters.

Support Local Journalism

Mikaela Shiffrin speeds down the course during the World Cup downhill race in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Friday.
Giovanni Maria Pizzato/AP photo

The Italian team said Goggia had a bruised hand and was heading to a local hospital for a full evaluation. The situation evoked memories of Curtoni’s last win in Cortina d’Ampezzo last season, when Goggia crashed two weeks before the Beijing Olympics.

“It’s too bad, because it would be great to share the celebration and anthem with her,” Curtoni told the Associated Press. “It seems like a curse when I win that something happens to her. I’m not doing it on purpose, I swear.”

The course was shortened on account of overnight snowfall. Curtoni, working from bib No. 2, took advantage of the more ideal conditions early on. A a course worker fell and had to be helped off the course after Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel sped down. The roughly five-minute delay allowed snow to cover the racing line right before Goggia was set to depart. Shiffrin, at bib No. 22, was thus understandably pleased to make it to the bottom of the hill safely.

“I’m really happy with my skiing and that was my top form for today, so I’m very happy with that and I found that I didn’t risk something. I also felt secure when I got through the finish. That’s a good step for tomorrow which should hopefully be better lighting and conditions,” she said.

“Most of the women coming down are feeling a bit disappointed because it’s quite challenging and also quite scary. Sometimes it’s a little bit luck if you hit the line on the turn in the right spot, it doesn’t feel quite so bad.”

Shiffrin said she “had the right timing today.” The tech specialist explained the calculus behind running the downhillI, saying, “I felt that my skiing in the training runs was promising, so I can take it step-by-step and improve a little bit more, and if I could fight for top-15 or top-10, then that’s really valuable points.”

“It’s a bit more of a rational decision, and of course I love to ski downhill, so I want to do it,” she continued. “But I have to first take care of my body and make sure I’m recovering, too. Body, mind — everything felt good, so then I could do it.”

In regard to her start to the season in general, the current overall leader said she’s “happy but maybe not totally satisfied.”

“There’s things I want to fix with my giant slalom skiing and also just to get a little more time with the slalom skis to really push the way some of the faster women can,” she stated.

Mikaela Shiffrin is airborne during the downhill training run in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Thursday. The American star placed sixth in Friday’s race.
Giovanni Maria Pizzato/AP photo

Another downhill is scheduled for Saturday on the Corviglia course, followed by a super-G on Sunday. Meanwhile, the men’s World Cup super-G scheduled for Friday in Val Gardena, Italy was canceled. On Thursday, Shiffrin’s boyfriend Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, placed fifth in the downhill, just 0.26 seconds from the win.

“That I think is pretty incredible. He’s in top form and the men’s circuit, you can see it yesterday, one small mistake on a course that’s set … it’s like there’s a trap set on every turn,” Shiffrin said when asked about Kilde. “You make one small mistake and then you’re just off the podium by three-tenths.”

Kilde has three wins this season and a second-place finish in his six races.

“That’s unbelievable how much they have to fight and the fact that he has three wins already — it’s very impressive,” Shiffrin said. 

World Cup overall leaders – women’s Alpine ski
  1. Mikaela Shiffrin, USA – 425
  2. Wendy Holdener, SUI – 366
  3. Petra Vlhova, SVK – 340
  4. Sofia Goggia, ITA – 325
  5. Corinne Suter, SUI – 300
  6. Sara Hector, SWE – 247
  7. Anna Swenn Larsson, SWE – 220
  8. Marta Bassino, ITA – 215
  9. Lara Gut-Behrami, SUI – 201
  10. Ragnhild Mowinckel, NOR – 196

Support Local Journalism