Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates after receiving the women's slalom world cup crystal globe at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Finals on March 17, 2018 in Are, Sweden.
Mikaela Shiffrin’s fifth slalom crystal globe went straight to her head — literally.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist received the trophy in style, winning the World Cup Finals slalom by 1.58 seconds in Are, Sweden, on Saturday afternoon, a week after she mathematically secured her fifth slalom globe for having the most points on the season. Afterward, she balanced the globe on her head while posing for photos and grinning from ear to ear.
The win in Are marked Shiffrin’s 12th world cup win of the season and seventh slalom win, marking her best season yet on both accounts.
Shiffrin made it down the course in 54.33 seconds on her second run, more than two seconds over the blistering 52.09 she posted on her first run. She finished with a flourish, stopping to celebrate at the bottom of the course.
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Both Shiffrin’s times were the fastest on the course during each run, providing a small measure of revenge for the 23-year-old from Eagle-Vail, Colorado, who shocked the ski world when she finished fourth in the event at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, unable to defend her 2014 Olympic gold.
“The slalom has always been really close to my heart,” she said following the race in Are. “To finish with a run like that was super special.”
Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener, who sits second to Shiffrin in the overall world cup standings, was second in 1:48:00. Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter, the gold medalist in slalom in PyeongChang, finished third, one one-hundredth of a second behind Holdener in 1:48:01.
Shiffrin has already locked up her second straight overall world cup title, making her the second American woman to win more than one during her career. Only Lindsey Vonn, with four, has won more.
Shiffrin has one more chance for glory in Are: she’s set to compete in the women’s giant slalom on Sunday, where she will be going for her 44th world cup win.
Blythe Lawrence is a journalist based in Seattle. She has covered two Olympic Games and is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.