Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup on Oct. 27, 2018 in Soelden, Austria.
Conditions were not idea for Mikaela Shiffrin’s first world cup race of the post-Olympic season, but that didn’t stop her from kicking things off with a podium finish in the giant slalom.
With a slick course, poor visibility and lots of wind Shiffrin was in fourth after her first run at Saturday’s FIS giant slalom at Soelden, Austria. The Olympic champion in the event sat just two-tenths of a second out of third place, however, easily positioning herself to jump up with run No. 2.
That’s exactly what happened. An impressive second effort gave Shiffrin a total time of 2:01.45 for third place behind France’s Tessa Worley (2:00.51) and Italy’s Federica Brignone (2:00.86). It was Shiffrin’s 64th world cup podium finish.
AJ Hurt, Patricia Mangan and Nina O’Brien also raced for the U.S. but did not qualify for the final.
Shiffrin is coming off a season in which she won her second overall world cup title, Olympic gold in the giant slalom and silver in Alpine combined.
Last year, however, Shiffin admitted that her nerves were occasionally getting the best of her. She worked with a sports psychologist in the offseason and told reporters recently that she’s more excited for this season then she has been in the past because she feels more comfortable with the process.
Among her goals this year is winning her first giant slalom season title. Only Lindsey Vonn has won three overall world cup titles in the last 25 years, a feat Shiffrin will try to match this season.