Mikaela Shiffrin Takes Slalom World Cup Lead
With her spectacular Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom victory in Zagreb, Coatia, on January 4, 2013, Mikaela Shiffrin became the first American to win two World Cup slalom races before the age of 18, as well as becoming the youngest woman since 1977 to win two World Cup slalom races in one season – her first win of the season being at Âre in Sweden on December 20, 2012. Her margin of victory in Zagreb was an astounding 1.19 seconds and the popular 17-year old was crowned as Snow Queen following the event, while regaining the honor of wearing the red bib as the World Cup leader in her discipline. Proving that she is has what it takes to be a champion, Shiffrin has finished on the podium in each of the last nine technical events she has competed in.
Born on March 13, 1995, in Vail, Colorado, Mikaela Shiffrin discovered her talent for snow skiing at a young age, winning a Nor-Am Cup super-combined race at Panorama, BC on December 14, 2010, at the age of 15. In her next three Nor-Am races – a super-G, a grand slalom and a slalom – she took second, third and first place respectively, following this up with first place in two Nor-Am slalom races at Maine’s Sunday River. Her bronze win for slalom at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships at Crans Montana in Switzerland shortly after, brought her to the attention of the international skiing community.
Two days before her sixteenth birthday, Shiffren made her World Cup debut in a giant slalom event at Spindleruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic. In April 2011 she became the youngest American skier to earn a national alpine crown when she won the US National slalom title at Winter Park, Colorado. Her first World Cup podium win came at Lienz, Austria, where she won third place at slalom on December 29, 2011. Her second podium finish was a third place at Levi, Finland, on November 10, 2012.
Following her victory, Mikaela Shiffrin was quoted as saying “I was in the zone where you feel like you’re skiing well and you almost feel unstoppable”. Certainly, this young skier has made an impression and is no doubt on her way to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, with a growing fan-base wishing her well.