Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates after competing at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on Feb. 2, 2019 in Maribor, Slovenia.
As she readies for next week’s Alpine Skiing World Championships, Mikaela Shiffrin dotted the i on her 13th world cup victory of the season Saturday in Maribor, Slovenia, grabbing gold in her signature event, the women’s slalom. She now holds the record for the most world cup wins by an American in a single season.
After undergoing physical therapy for an undisclosed issue Friday, the 23-year-old double Olympic champion returned to the slopes to put up a superb first run, crossing the line in 50.05 seconds, a split second in front of Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, who has emerged as her biggest challenger this season.
Shiffrin was more mortal on her second run, which she finished in 52.55 seconds, only the 18th-best time in the field, but her combined time of 1:42.60 was enough to put another W next to Shiffrin’s name, her sixth in a world cup slalom race so far this season.
After a confident first run, Sweden’s Anna Swenn Larsson finished second overall with a combined time of 1:43.37, her first podium placement of the season. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland, the 2018 Olympic silver medalist in slalom, finished third in 1:43.75. Like Shiffrin, Vlhova struggled on her second attempt at the course and ended in fifth place overall.
Shiffrin and Vlhova skied to a tie for first place in Friday’s giant slalom as Shiffrin notched her 55th career victory, tying Swiss legend Vreni Schneider for third on the all-time women’s world cup win list. Only Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell (62) and Lindsey Vonn (82) have more. Schneider also holds the record for most races won over the course of a single season, eking out 14 in 1988-89.
Chasing her third consecutive crystal globe, Shiffrin heads to the world championships in Sweden as the world cup points leader in giant slalom, slalom and super-G, and is a favorite to win multiple events at the world championships, which begin Tuesday in Are, Sweden.