Jacqueline Wiles makes first Alpine skiing World Cup podium in six years
American Jacqueline Wiles finished second in a World Cup downhill on Saturday for her first podium in six years.
Wiles, a 31-year-old, two-time Olympian, came from a late start number of 26 (due to her world ranking) to finish 35 hundredths behind winner Raghnhild Mowinckel of Norway in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
“This is absolutely insane,” Wiles told Swiss broadcaster SRF. “It’s been a long time coming of injuries the last five, six years, so to be able to come here with confidence and put a run down that I was capable of means the world to me. It’s really special.”
Wiles had two previous podiums -- third-place downhill finishes in January 2017 in Zauchensee, Austria, and in January 2018 in Cortina.
She then broke her left leg and tore an ACL in the final weekend of racing before the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics and returned to the World Cup circuit 22 months later.
She also had two surgeries in the 2020-21 season -- for a broken clavicle from a race crash and a knee injury sustained before the world championships downhill.
After the 2022 Olympic season, she had surgery to repair a patella tendon and did not race in the 2022-23 season.
On Friday, she was 13th in a downhill in Cortina, her best World Cup finish in six years that she just bettered emphatically on Saturday.
Cortina hosts a super-G on Sunday, airing on skiandsnowboard.live for subscribers.
JACKIE WILES‼️‼️— U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team (@usskiteam) January 27, 2024
O-M-G! @JackieWilesUSA goes into second place in the Cortina World Cup downhill on the @milanocortina26 track. What an outstanding comeback.
We’re not crying…yes we actually are!! #stifelusskiteam pic.twitter.com/4gBLq2vjtB