“I’ve never ridden so well”: Ski queen Shiffrin drives away from her subjects

“I’ve never ridden so well”
Ski queen Shiffrin drives away from her subjects

The historic victory number 83 is followed by the next success, despite being very tired: The American ski high-flyer Mikaela Shiffrin can already match the all-time record of the Swedish ski legend Ingemar Stenmark next weekend.

The hymns of praise had just subsided when the new ski queen drove away from her subjects again. A day after she set the women’s record with her 83rd World Cup win, Mikaela Shiffrin immediately followed with her 84th. Despite an almost sleepless night, she also won the second giant slalom at the Kronplatz in South Tyrol, two successes are now missing to the record of Ingemar Stenmark (86).

After her sovereign victory in front of Ragnhild Mowinckel from Norway (+0.82 seconds) and Olympic champion Sara Hector from Sweden (+1.19), Shiffrin was flat. As if in a trance, she sank into the snow, she broke off the first interview exhausted and almost absent-minded, after previously saying: “I accelerated and just hoped that I would drive on the right side of the gates. It’s an incredible one Feeling.”

The exhaustion was also understandable after Tuesday’s win, which saw her overtake former teammate Lindsey Vonn. The evening was “really nice”, reported Shiffrin, so many people congratulated her, she had received so much encouragement. However: “The night wasn’t easy. I wanted to fall asleep, but it didn’t work out. I woke up at midnight, at three, at five.” On the slopes she seemed well rested.

“I don’t need it, but I want it”

“I’ve really never driven so well,” assured Shiffrin when she had recovered a little after the race. At the same time, she assured Eurosport that she still “didn’t have a number as a goal”. Before this winter she thought “winning four or five times would be the maximum”. Now there are already ten wins of the season, “it’s actually enough, I just love skiing so much. I think to myself: I don’t need it, but I want it”.

For the German riders there was nothing to get again. Jessica Hilzinger, in 40th place, clearly missed out on the points. Since the retirement of Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg in the summer of 2020, the DSV athletes have only played a supporting role in giant slalom.

In the slaloms on Saturday and Sunday in Spindleruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic, Shiffrin can already match Stenmark’s record. She doesn’t believe, ex-colleague Vonn said from afar, “that Stenmark is the benchmark”. Shiffrin will “set a new standard – and we can only wait and see how high she can go”. High, believes Norway’s ski star Aleksander Aamodt Kilde: “She just loves to get better,” he said of his girlfriend. Of course, Shiffrin only had one wish at first. “I just want to sleep.”

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