ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Feb. 18, 2017) – Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) became the first female skier in 78 years to win three consecutive World Championship slalom titles at the 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Saturday.
In explosive fashion under a bright blue sky and skiing on a rock-hard course, Shiffrin matched Germany’s Christl Cranz (1937, 1938, 1939) as the only ski racers to win three slalom titles in a row.
Mikaela Shiffrin won Saturday’s FIS Alpine Ski World Championships slalom in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard)
Winning the first run by 0.38 seconds over Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener, Shiffrin crushed the second run, on a course set by her coach Mike Day, to extend her margin of victory to 1.64 seconds over Holdener, who finished second, and 1.75 seconds over Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter in third. Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY), competing in her eighth World Championships, finished 11th. Megan McJames (Park City, UT) was 36th.
“I heard the crowd screaming for Wendy and I knew she must have had a great run, and I just thought you know what, ‘today’s my day, not yours,’” said Shiffrin, who finished the second run with her characteristic explosive fashion, gaining more than a half second from the third split to the finish.
Shiffrin skis in the World Championships slalom. (Getty Images/AFP-Fabrice Coffrini)
Shiffrin, who just seems to have one extra gear at top speed over the rest of the field, skied a solid first run to shake out the nerves, before cutting loose on the second run.
“My nerves were higher the first run,” she said. “Second run I thought that I’m halfway there, but everything could disappear in one second, so just focus. I felt (my) confidence building and building, and when I got into the gate, I was ready.”
However, the time she spent at the start waiting for her second run after Holdener moved into the lead “felt like I was standing there forever,” she added. “So I just thought, ‘pretend they are cheering for you and go for it!”
Resi Stiegler finished 11th in Saturday’s FIS Alpine Ski World Championships slalom in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard)
The 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz concludes Sunday with men’s slalom. The World Cup circuit resumes for the women Feb. 24-26 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
Shiffrin reacts to her win. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Giovanni Auletta)
- Mikaela Shiffrin won her third consecutive World Championship slalom title Saturday at St. Moritz. She also won in 2015 at Beaver Creek and 2013 at Schladming, Austria.
- Shiffrin matched Germany’s Christel Cranz (1937, 1938, 1939) as the only ski racers to win three consecutive slalom titles.
- Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener was second and Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter was third.
- Stiegler, competing in her eighth World Championships, finished 11th. Megan McJames (Park City, UT) was 36th.
- With her slalom bronze medal, Hansdotter added to her silver medal from Beaver Creek and her bronze medal from Schladming.
I heard the crowd screaming for Wendy and I knew she must have had a great run, and I just thought, you know what, ‘today’s my day, not yours.’
Nerves were higher the first run, I’d have to say. Second run I thought that I’m halfway there, but everything could disappear in one second, so just focus. I kind of felt (my) confidence building and building, and when I got into the gate, I was ready.
[On her second run]
That run felt really good!
[On her confidence]
The biggest thing I was thinking about was “ski fast and see if you could win.’ The next biggest thing I was thinking about was ‘you’re going to ski out and screw it up on the first gate or something.’
[On competing at the World Championships]
It’s sort of fun with World Championships, because actually it doesn’t stop at 30. There is another 30 more racers to come, so it sort of doesn’t feel like its over after (my run).
It wasn’t my day. I knew I’d have to give it my all and I tried.
I’m really thankful that there are a couple more races in the U.S. on two of my favorite hills (Squaw Valley and Aspen), so hopefully I’ll have some better success there.
BROADCAST + LIVE STREAMING (times EST)
Saturday, Feb. 18
1:00 p.m. – women’s slalom, run 2 – NBC
Sunday, Feb. 19
3:45 a.m. – men’s slalom, run 1 – nbcsports.com/live – LIVE STREAM
7:00 a.m. – men’s slalom, run 2 – NBCSN – LIVE