Mikaela Shiffrin gets 80th World Cup win, 50th slalom win, can reach Vonn record next week
An on-fire Mikaela Shiffrin earned her 80th World Cup win (her 50th in slalom), moving two shy of Lindsey Vonn‘s female career record of 82 World Cup victories.
Shiffrin completed a three-race sweep in Semmering, Austria, by taking a slalom by .29 of a second over Minnesotan Paula Moltzan combining times from two runs Thursday night. That came after giant slalom victories on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It was the first U.S. one-two in an Alpine skiing World Cup race in eight years. Shiffrin, with her 127th career World Cup podium, was joined in the top three by another American for the second time in her career (and first time in a U.S. one-two). Moltzan, who at 28 is one year older than Shiffrin, made her second career World Cup podium.
“The coolest thing about tonight was coming into the finish and seeing Paula,” Shiffrin said. “I never experienced something like that.”
After coming to a stop in the finish area, the victorious Shiffrin tossed aside her ski poles and quickly glided to Moltzan. They both let out a scream and hugged. “80! Holy s---!,” Moltzan yelled as they looked into each other’s eyes.
“I don’t have any thoughts yet. I’m still working on the words,” Moltzan said on Austrian TV station ORF. “It’s been a bunch of baby steps leading to this point. ... We’re making history while Mikaela’s making history.”
Moltzan, who went to college after being dropped from the national team, became the first American other than Shiffrin to make a World Cup slalom podium since Resi Stiegler in March 2012, when Shiffrin had just one World Cup slalom podium. Shiffrin now has 70 World Cup slalom podiums.
“Paula had a ripping run. I saw it from the start. I was like, she might win this race,” Shiffrin said of Moltzan, who was third after the first run and had a faster second run than first-run leader Shiffrin. “It is so special to share a podium with her. I don’t have much to say about 80 [wins] yet. I don’t know what to say.”
Shiffrin is on a four-race win streak overall, her best run since her record 17-win 2018-19 season.
She can tie Vonn’s record as early as next week with slaloms on Wednesday and Thursday in Zagreb, Croatia, where she owns four previous victories.
Ingemar Stenmark, a Swedish legend of the 1970s and ‘80s, holds the overall record of 86 World Cup wins.
This season, Shiffrin has six victories in 12 starts, taking a commanding 369-point lead in the standings for the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing. Shiffrin won her fourth overall title last season.
The World Cup season, which is through 15 of 39 scheduled races, runs into late March with a break in February for the world championships in France.
Shiffrin was asked on Austrian TV what her wishes are for 2023.
“To be honest, I stopped wishing for things about three years ago,” said Shiffrin, whose father, Jeff, died on Feb. 2, 2020. “I’m here for the skiing, and being able to do it with a teammate, with many teammates, and an amazing crowd and amazing people around, I couldn’t even dare to wish for that, but we’re getting it, and it’s amazing.
“After everything that’s happened in life, personally and athletically, it’s just amazing to still be part of days like this.”
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