Sunday’s weather was a stark contrast from Saturday’s above freezing temperatures and rainfall. The thermometer plummeted overnight and created a rock hard surface on the Superstar slope at Killington, Vt., for the slalom race on Nov. 26. Light snow fell from the sky throughout the day, and the light on the course was quite flat. American superstar Mikaela Shiffrin was ready for it all thanks to her skills, training and, of course, her years of skiing in harsh East Coast conditions at Burke Mountain Academy.

She started her day by creating a 0.86-second cushion between her and the rest of the field. Then, in the second run, she showed the crowd what she’s made of when she increased her lead to 1.64 seconds, taking a thrilling win in front of an estimated 16,000 screaming fans.

“I think we all know the East Coast fans are just incredible, and it’s so cool that we’re having World Cups back here now. And last year, everyone was surprised at how big of a showing there was and how loud the crowd was and this year, everybody expected it, but it’s still such a nice feeling, especially for me, to come into the finish and I can hear everyone screaming and they’re just so supportive,” Shiffrin said.

Petra Vlhova, who won the first slalom of the season, managed to move up three spots in the second run to earn second place.

“It’s going to be a really cool rivalry actually this year,” Shiffrin said. “First of all, from what I’ve seen, she’s a great person. I respect everything that she’s said to me. She really wants to win, and she works really hard for it. It’s not like anybody else doesn’t, but I see something different in her that makes me want to be better.”

Austria’s Bernadette Schild held her position in the second run, walking away with her first World Cup podium finish of the season in third place. She also earned a podium at Squaw Valley last March, so the U.S. has a special place in her heart.

“I realized the crowd, they all stayed until the last racer first run and that’s amazing, and that’s really a race that I think all the racers love,” Schild said. “The crowd, they cheer for everybody, and that’s just really nice.”

Image Credit: Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom

It was the American’s first victory of the season after a fifth-place finish in the GS at Soelden, second place in the slalom at Levi, and a second-place result on Saturday at Killington. The last time Shiffrin won a World Cup was in March in front of a home crowd at Squaw Valley, Calif. In the start of this season, Shiffrin has been dealing with a few challenges including adjustments to her equipment and the pressure of performing for fans, her team, and herself.

“For me, last year, I felt more pressure with media, more pressure with sponsors. I didn’t feel like I was handling that very well,” she said. “This year, I’m actually better on that side of things, but I do still feel the pressure to ski well, to perform and to do it for my team and for the people who are closest to me and also for myself because, I mean, we spend so much time working, skiing, in the gym, putting in the effort, putting in the hours to just have basically 60 seconds or two minutes on the hill where we have some moments of greatness. And sometimes to me it feels like it’s crazy, like, ‘Why am I doing this?'”

Shiffrin seemed to handle the pressure of performing for the home crowd well at Killington. Two podium results, including a win, is nothing to be shy about. These are the kinds of results that Shiffrin wants to have all season including this February in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“I’m trying to actually peak almost every single weekend when I’m doing slalom, GS and super-G and some downhill, so it’s less of trying to have a huge peak for the Olympics and just trying to peak every single race and the Olympics is included in that, which makes it a little bit easier in a way because I don’t just have one goal for the Olympics this year,” she said. “I have a lot of goals that are equally as important to me.”

As hardcore ski racing fans know, the Olympic Winter Games are a strange beast for the elite racers of the world, which U.S. Ski & Snowboard CEO Tiger Shaw explained in a press conference early in the weekend. He said that winning the World Cup overall title is really the pinnacle of an athlete’s career, but for the world at large, expectations are different.

“The Olympics are two-and-a-half weeks every four years,” Shaw said. “That puts extraordinary pressure on a very short period of time. That said, we’re measured by Olympic medals as an organization. Those who aren’t familiar with our sport, who aren’t following it every day, they pay attention to medals.”

U.S. Ski & Snowboard will look to Shiffrin to bring home Olympic medals not only in slalom, but potentially in GS and even super-G. The U.S. Olympic team will not be named for a couple months, and it will be interesting to see which Americans will join Shiffrin in the technical races there. Resi Stiegler, who earned 20th place in the Killington slalom, is planning to compete in her third Olympic Games. Fans may also see other Killington starters like University of Vermont’s Paula Moltzan, Team CLIF Bar’s Lila Lapanja, or Groundswell Athletic‘s Megan McJames on the Olympic roster. Only time will tell.

Now, the women head to Lake Louise, Canada, for the speed events.


Top 10

  1. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  2. Petra Vlhova (SVK) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
  3. Bernadette Schild (AUT) – Head / Head / Head
  4. Denise Feierabend (SUI) – Head / Head / Head
  5. Frida Hansdotter (SWE) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
  6. Anna Swenn-Larsson (SWE) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
  7. Katharina Gallhuber (AUT) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
  8. Chiara Costazza (ITA) – Dynastar / Look / Lange
  9. Marina Wallner (GER) – Fischer / Fischer / Fischer
  10. Michelle Gisin (SUI) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points WC Points
 1  5  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela 1995 USA  49.57  51.34  1:40.91  0.00  100.00
 2  2  705423 VLHOVA Petra 1995 SVK  51.02  51.53  1:42.55  +1.64  11.70  80.00
 3  3  56032 SCHILD Bernadette 1990 AUT  50.86  52.72  1:43.58  +2.67  19.05  60.00
 4  21  515997 FEIERABEND Denise 1989 SUI  51.85  51.76  1:43.61  +2.70  19.26  50.00
 5  1  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida 1985 SWE  50.97  52.72  1:43.69  +2.78  19.84  45.00
 6  24  506146 SWENN LARSSON Anna 1991 SWE  51.84  52.10  1:43.94  +3.03  21.62  40.00
 7  38  56367 GALLHUBER Katharina 1997 AUT  52.41  51.80  1:44.21  +3.30  23.55  36.00
 8  13  296354 COSTAZZA Chiara 1984 ITA  52.47  52.04  1:44.51  +3.60  25.69  32.00
 9  22  206536 WALLNER Marina 1994 GER  52.72  51.82  1:44.54  +3.63  25.90  29.00
 10  8  516284 GISIN Michelle 1993 SUI  51.80  52.75  1:44.55  +3.64  25.97  26.00
 10  7  506341 WIKSTROEM Emelie 1992 SWE  51.54  53.01  1:44.55  +3.64  25.97  26.00
 12  19  296509 CURTONI Irene 1985 ITA  52.20  52.40  1:44.60  +3.69  26.33  22.00
 13  4  425771 HAVER-LOESETH Nina 1989 NOR  51.99  52.87  1:44.86  +3.95  28.18  20.00
 14  47  107427 ST-GERMAIN Laurence 1994 CAN  53.03  52.07  1:45.10  +4.19  29.90  18.00
 15  40  56388 LIENSBERGER Katharina 1997 AUT  53.07  52.24  1:45.31  +4.40  31.39  16.00
 16  11  206355 DUERR Lena 1991 GER  52.59  52.83  1:45.42  +4.51  32.18  15.00
 17  12  565401 BUCIK Ana 1993 SLO  52.76  52.68  1:45.44  +4.53  32.32  14.00
 18  10  206279 GEIGER Christina 1990 GER  52.50  52.96  1:45.46  +4.55  32.46  13.00
 19  31  196806 NOENS Nastasia 1988 FRA  53.01  52.51  1:45.52  +4.61  32.89  12.00
 20  27  197319 BAUD MUGNIER Adeline 1992 FRA  52.96  52.61  1:45.57  +4.66  33.25  11.00
 21  16  537772 STIEGLER Resi 1985 USA  52.54  53.14  1:45.68  +4.77  34.03  10.00
 22  28  565320 FERK Marusa 1988 SLO  52.70  53.21  1:45.91  +5.00  35.68  9.00
 23  34  197616 ALPHAND Estelle 1995 SWE  53.08  53.32  1:46.40  +5.49  39.17  8.00
Did not finish 2nd run
 26  56217 BRUNNER Stephanie 1994 AUT  52.61
 25  296259 MOELGG Manuela 1983 ITA  51.95
 18  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela 1985 AUT  52.85
 17  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele 1989 CAN  52.71
 15  425981 SKJOELD Maren 1993 NOR  52.43
 9  56315 TRUPPE Katharina 1996 AUT  52.49
 6  516280 HOLDENER Wendy 1993 SUI  50.46
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 60  299276 BASSINO Marta 1996 ITA  55.45
 59  538284 MCJAMES Megan 1987 USA  55.52
 57  107747 SMART Amelia 1998 CAN  54.59
 56  385096 POPOVIC Leona 1997 CRO  54.75
 54  539927 LAPANJA Lila 1994 USA  53.99
 52  565471 HROVAT Meta 1998 SLO  54.15
 51  405138 JELINKOVA Adriana 1995 NED  54.46
 49  426100 HOLTMANN Mina Fuerst 1995 NOR  54.27
 48  307493 ANDO Asa 1996 JPN  56.53
 42  506399 HECTOR Sara 1992 SWE  54.96
 41  56253 HUBER Katharina 1995 AUT  53.51
 39  56174 HAASER Ricarda 1993 AUT  54.17
 37  355061 HILZINGER Jessica 1997 GER  53.38
 36  485637 ALOPINA Ksenia 1992 RUS  53.93
 35  155728 DUBOVSKA Martina 1992 CZE  53.79
 33  485802 TKACHENKO Ekaterina 1995 RUS  54.29
 32  315187 IGNJATOVIC Nevena 1990 SRB  53.86
 30  56143 GRUENWALD Julia 1991 AUT  53.68
Did not finish 1st run
 62  565373 ROBNIK Tina 1991 SLO
 61  435334 GASIENICA-DANIEL Maryna 1994 POL
 58  415205 HUDSON Piera 1996 NZL
 55  6536171 HENSIEN Katie 1999 USA
 53  426187 LYSDAHL Kristin 1996 NOR
 50  298767 SOSIO Federica 1994 ITA
 46  196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie 1988 FRA
 45  539909 MOLTZAN Paula 1994 USA
 44  25096 GUTIERREZ Mireia 1988 AND
 43  225525 TILLEY Alex 1993 GBR
 29  206487 WIESLER Maren 1993 GER
 23  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin 1990 CAN
 20  55977 THALMANN Carmen 1989 AUT
 14  516528 MEILLARD Melanie 1998 SUI

 

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Gabbi Hall
Digital Content Editor
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A California native, Gabbi moved to Vermont to ski on the NCAA circuit for St. Michael’s College, where she served as team captain and studied journalism. Before joining Ski Racing, she worked as a broadcast TV producer and social media manager in higher education. She can be reached via email at gabbi@skiracing.com
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