The last World Cup race of the season saw plenty of tears, happy and sad, as Frida Hansdotter took the last run of her career and Mikaela Shiffrin won her fourth crystal globe. Shiffrin has had her sights set on the giant slalom title since she first started out on the World Cup circuit. After Sunday’s achievement, she can now say she is the first athlete to have ever won the combination of giant slalom, slalom, super-G and overall titles in a single season.

“It’s hard to describe exactly what it means, but I’ve been dreaming about it for a really long time,” said Shiffrin. “Since my first slalom globe, or actually since before my first slalom globe. And there’s been a lot of moments in the past 8 years where I thought I may never be able to achieve this goal. This whole season feels like a dream, it’s hard to believe it actually happened.”

At the conclusion of the season, Shiffrin has racked in the wins and records. The 24-year-old now as 60 World Cup wins, 40 slalom wins, 2,204 FIS points, and four titles. She’s tied Ingemar Stenmark’s slalom win record, become the only athlete to have won across all disciplines, and broken the record for most wins in a single season at 17 total wins. She has a 70-percent win ratio and joins a group of elite women, Tanja Poutiainen, Anja Pärson, Vreni Schneider, and Lise-Marie Morerod as the fifth woman to have won a giant slalom and slalom globe in one season.

“The real goal is always pushing my level of skiing, pushing my limit. Seeing what’s possible…as long as I have motivation and fire, then I’ll be doing this as well as I can,” she said. “That is kind of the ultimate goal. So in that way, it doesn’t matter how many Globes, or wins, or whatever, it’s just go for it because it’s fun.”

The real surprise of the day wasn’t Shiffrin’s win but the challenge she received from New Zealand’s Alice Robinson, who finished in second, just three tenths off Shiffrin’s combined time. Robinson has been riding a wave of success over the last chunk of the season. She won the giant slalom at World Juniors and finished 17th at World Championships in her first top 20 finish at a big event at the senior level. For the 17-year-old to have finished her season with a second place podium at World Cup finals 0.11 seconds ahead of Petra Vlhova, was a dream.

Alice Robinson of New Zealand takes 2nd place, Mikaela Shiffrin of USA takes 1st place, Petra Vlhova of Slovakia takes 3rd place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men’s Slalom and Women’s Giant Slalom on March 17, 2019, in Soldeu Andorra. (Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom)

“It’s just insane. The first part of my season was tough, I was struggling a bit but I had some good results. World Champs was really great, and then junior Worlds and then from there, just this past month has been great. I knew I just had to keep building and now it’s time for a little break,” said Robinson.

Looking forward to next season, Shiffrin acknowledged that it’s races and surprise finishes like today that help put the success of her season into perspective.

“I think that one thing that helps put it in perspective is seeing someone like Alice Robinson come down into second. She had two runs of amazing skiing and now I’m feeling like next season has already started. There’s always a new reason to be motivated,” said Shiffrin.

Frida Hansdotter (SWE) and Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) celebrate Hansdotter final race in the finish. Photo: GEPA pictures/ Christian Walgram

Decked in traditional Swedish garb in honor of her retirement, Frida Hansdotter skied the final run of her career in Soldeu. Hansdotter was greeted by Shiffrin, her team, Viktoria Rebensburg, Federica Brignone, Wendy Holdener, and bottles of champagne as she skied into the finish, followed by a bouquet of flowers to commemorate a 15-year career, an Olympic gold, and a slalom crystal globe.

With the World Cup season officially over, the athletes will take a short break before refocusing on summer training and beginning preparation for next season.

Top 10

  1. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA): 2:23.17 – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  2. Alice Robinson (NZL): +0.30 – Voelkl / Dalbello
  3. Petra Vlhova (SVK): +0.41 – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  4. Tessa Worley (FRA): +1.21 – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  5. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER): +2.03 – Stoeckli / Lange 
  6. Wendy Holdener (SUI): +2.34 – Head/Head/Head
  7. Eva-Maria Brem (AUT): +2.82 – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  8. Katharina Liensberger (AUT): +2.89 – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  9. Sara Hector (SWE): +3.04 –  Head/Head/Head
  10. Mina Fuerst Holtmann: +3.34 – Voelkl / Dalbello

For full FIS results, please click here.

Associate Editor – Born and raised in Metro-Detroit, Michigan, Mackenzie grew up ski racing all over the Mitten.​ She moved out west in search of mountains and attended the University of Oregon, where she achieved degrees in Journalism and Environmental Science. She raced USCSA and was captain of the UO Alpine Ski Team. She currently resides in Salt Lake City and serves as Associate Editor for Ski Racing Media.