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Mikaela Shiffrin Punches Her Ticket To PyeongChang Olympics In Giant Slalom

By Gary R. Blockus | Dec. 20, 2017, 2:18 p.m. (ET)


Mikaela Shiffrin, the youngest slalom champion in Olympic history when she won the gold medal in 2014, has now qualified for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team in giant slalom.

The reigning slalom world champion, Shiffrin, 22, qualified for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 by building a world cup lead in the giant slalom that cannot be caught by any other U.S. skier in the remaining giant slalom world cups before the selection period ends.

A U.S. athlete earning a top-three finish in a world cup — so long as no more than three total athletes achieve that qualification criterion — qualifies for the team. The first criterion after that is the skier’s rank in world cup points for that event.

Shiffrin won the giant slalom race in Courchevel, France, on Tuesday, and finished second in Killington, Vermont, on Nov. 25.

In the other four Olympic alpine events, which she is likely to qualify for as well, Shiffrin has a slalom win in Killington on Nov. 28 and a downhill win in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Dec. 2. Her top super-G finish this season is fifth, while there has not yet been a combined (the Dec. 10 one was canceled).

She also added a win in parallel slalom in Courchevel on Wednesday.

Shiffrin leads the world cup overall standings with 621 points. Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg is in second place in the standings with 430 points. She also leads in giant slalom with 225 points to 218 for Rebensburg.

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Shiffrin’s domination in the technical events like slalom and giant slalom has continued, but she upped her abilities in the speed events of downhill and super-G over the past season to win the overall world cup title for 2016-17.

The giant slalom win in Courchevel gave her 34 world cup wins (now 35), breaking a tie with Bode Miller for second place all alone on Team USA’s list of all-time world cup wins, behind the 78 of Lindsey Vonn.

Shiffrin made history at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 by becoming the youngest Olympic slalom champion at 18 years, 345 days. She also finished fifth in the giant slalom in Sochi.

Last season she became the first woman in 78 years to win three straight slalom world titles, while also claiming silver in giant slalom.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Mikaela Shiffrin

Alpine Skiing