Mikaela Shiffrin in action during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup on Jan. 1, 2019 in Oslo, Norway.
Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin kicked off 2019 with a second-place finish in Tuesday’s city event parallel slalom competition in Oslo, Norway.
Competing under the lights at Oslo’s iconic Holmenkollen ski jump, Shiffrin started the second run of the big final against Petra Vlhova needing to make up two-tenths of a second, but the 2014 Olympic champ couldn’t quite match the Slovakian’s race and finished .39 seconds behind. Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener finished in third place.
Shiffrin came into the competition with city event victories in each of the last two years, including a Jan. 1 victory in 2018 in Oslo.
On Tuesday, she beat Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel in the first round then Canada’s Erin Mielzynski in the quarterfinals. In the semifinal matchup against Holdener, who won the Olympic silver medal in slalom in PyeongChang, Shiffrin prevailed once more to launch herself into the big final against Vlhova.
It’s been a big few days between Shiffrin and Vlhova. On Friday, Shiffrin led the giant slalom in Semmering, Austria, after the first run but fell to fifth after the second run as Vlhova won. Then, in Saturday’s slalom, Shiffrin won her 36th career world cup race in the discipline and her 15th race in the calendar year, both new records. Vlhova was second.
Shiffrin holds a commanding lead in the overall world cup standings with 1,034 points going into Tuesday. Vlhoa was a distant second with 568 points.