Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates taking second place in the women's giant slalom at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup on Dec. 22, 2021 in Courchevel, France.
One day after recording her 72nd world cup win in a giant slalom in Courchevel, France, Mikaela Shiffrin was back at the French Alps resort Wednesday for another giant slalom, this time finishing second.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist finished with a combined time of 1:06.33, putting her .35. seconds behind winner Sara Hector of Sweden. Italy’s Marta Bassino was third, .60 seconds behind Hector. Fellow American Paula Moltzan was 13th, moving up three spots from Tuesday.
The second day of racing didn’t start as strong for Shiffrin, though that’d be hard to do after she opened with a .74 second advantage in her first run on Tuesday and then held off Hector for the win.
“Compared with yesterday, today had a lot more like scrappy skiing, some recoveries,” Shiffrin told the Associated Press. “It was just a tough day. It’s amazing to have second place.”
With less than 50 days to go before the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, Shiffrin now has eight podium finishes in the world cup, with three of them being wins.
Tuesday’s victory moved her into the top position in the overall world cup standings, and she ranks first in giant slalom and second in slalom. All of her wins so far this season have come in those events, though she’s also reached the podium twice in super-G.
A three-time world cup overall champion, Shiffrin should enter the Beijing Games as a medal favorite on at least two events. She won the slalom in her Olympic debut in 2014, then won giant slalom while finishing third in the combined event in 2018.
Over the course of her career, Shiffrin, now 26, has evolved from a technical specialist to a contender across the different races. Her 72 world cup wins put her third all-time, behind only Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark (86) and fellow American Lindsey Vonn (82).
Following a holiday break, the women’s world cup tour returns Dec. 28-29 in Lienz, Austria, for a giant slalom and slalom.