Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin just became the most successful skier in World Cup history

Mikaela Shiffrin

American skier Mikaela Shiffrin now stands alone at the top of women’s alpine skiing after winning World Cup No. 83 at Mount Kronplatz in northern Italy on Tuesday. Shiffrin surpassed the record she shared with American Lindsey Vonn after equaling Vonn’s 82 wins earlier this month.

Mikaela Shiffrin, 27, took the lead in her first run, edging out two Olympic medalists — Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami and Italy’s Federica Brignone — by 0.13 seconds and 0.27 seconds, respectively.

Shiffrin came out of the gate seemingly poised to make history, and her time has never been trailed by any other skier. Gut-Behrami, on the other hand, overcame a relatively slow start to scorch the lower part of the field and mount a challenge for Shiffrin in the Dolomites.

This set up the second run and Shiffrin’s final attempt at the record. At the weekend in Cortina, she placed in the top 10 in the downhill and super-G speed races. Now at Kronplatz, Shiffrin let her ethereal blend of speed and technical ability shine.

In the decisive second run, Gut-Behrami was unable to find the same speed as in her first run down the mountain, finishing third but maintaining second place overall.

Shiffrin started last of the 30 runners in the second run, keeping the pressure on the top half of the course before turning it around, setting the fastest time in the final part of the race to extend her overall lead over Gut-Behr to 0.45. seconds.

That set off the celebrations — and a beaming Shiffrin was engulfed in hugs from her American Alpine teammates, who were already wearing T-shirts celebrating her record 83rd victory.

Only Ingemar Stenmark remains ahead of Shiffrin

The win leaves just one name ahead of Shiffrin: Ingemar Stenmark, the legendary Swedish racer whose 86 World Cup victories are the most in history — by a man or a woman. Among those who anticipate even greater things from Shiffrin is Stenmark.”Shiffrin will win over 100 [races],” he predicted in an interview, “and I don’t regret it at all.”

Born and raised in Colorado, Shiffrin has been racing on the World Cup circuit since 2011 — starting her career just before turning 16. She is the only skier in history to win a race in all six World Cup disciplines: downhill, downhill, super-G, slalom, giant slalom, combined, and parallel.

Shiffrin has also shown rare consistency in dealing with back and knee injuries in a sport where athletes launch their bodies downhill at speeds of 75 to 80 mph. She won 17 races during the 2018–19 World Cup season, a feat that no other skier—male or female—has ever accomplished.

Shiffrin carries on with his shiffrining.

While her latest win made history, it’s also a testament to Shiffrin’s resilience. She said that when her father Jeff passed away in an accident at his house three years prior, she was “devastated.” Shiffrin said after her 82nd victory earlier this month, which tied her with Vonn, “I wish I could go back to a moment when I could share it with more people that I love.”

She also showed grace and humanity as she dealt with a series of disappointments at last year’s Winter Olympics, where she failed to finish three events and did not win a medal.

Heading into the race weekend in Italy, Shiffrin had won 82 of her previous 234 World Cup starts – which means she is winning 35% of her races on the world’s top circuit. With her latest victory, Shiffrin is alone among the women and is now aiming for Stenmark’s all-time record.

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