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Mikaela Shiffrin clinches fifth World Cup overall title

Mikaela Shiffrin

MERIBEL, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 16: Gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin of United States celebrates during the victory ceremony for Women’s Giant Slalom at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships on February 16, 2023 in Meribel, France. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

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Mikaela Shiffrin mathematically clinched her fifth World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in Alpine skiing, with seven races still to go this season.

She tied for fifth in a downhill Saturday -- her quest for a record-tying 86th World Cup win extended by at least another day -- but it was enough to secure the overall title, given to the best skier over the course of the season combining results in all World Cup races.

“I know [the wins record] is what people will actually want to know, but my goal was really the overall globe; that’s what I talked about the whole beginning of the season,” said Shiffrin, who already clinched the slalom season title and is likely to clinch the GS season title next week. “My big goal this year was the overall globe, and then the slalom and GS globes were just under that.”

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Shiffrin clinched the overall with seven races left in the 38-race season, or nearly 20% of the season still to go.

Shiffrin has 11 World Cup wins this season, most by any man or woman, and her most since her record 17-win campaign of 2018-19 (when she also clinched the overall with seven races left).

Shiffrin has said that she produced, at times, the best skiing of her career this season. She last won season titles in the slalom and GS in 2019.

“It’s quite special to have it [the overall] now already, and I can take a little bit of weight off my shoulders,” she said. “If I had, like, one final wish for the season, maybe it’s wishing for too much, but the GS globe. ... Those are kind of the final things that I would like to achieve, and then I can be pretty satisfied with the season.”

Shiffrin broke her tie with Lindsey Vonn for the second-most women’s overall titles in history behind Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll, who won six in the 1970s.

On Saturday, she was 79 hundredths behind Norwegian Kajsa Vickhoff Lie, who earned her first World Cup win.

Shiffrin is one victory shy of the career World Cup record of 86 held by Swede Ingemar Stenmark, a giant slalom and slalom star of the 1970s and ‘80s.

Shiffrin’s next race is a super-G Sunday, followed by a giant slalom and slalom, her best events, next weekend.

“Now that I’m so close, the unfortunate thing is if I don’t get it [the record] this season, it could be that many people say it’s disappointing, but for me I’m trying to keep everything realistic and maybe not get so greedy about it,” she said, “because it might not happen this season.”

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