Mikaela Shiffrin set a record with her 87th win in World Cup skiing

ARE, Sweden (AP) – Two minutes after her 87th career victory, Mikaela Shiffrin He finally understood the significance of the record for most wins in the World Cup.

Midway through the awards ceremony, a man in a red jacket unexpectedly stepped forward from the crowd, and it was at that moment that Shiffrin first realized what it meant to her.

It was her brother, Taylor, who secretly flew to Sweden to hug her.

“I’ve said it the whole time, I don’t know how to define it,” Shiffrin said of the record. “But when you have these special moments … watching my brother and (sister-in-law) Christy and my mom (and coach, Eileen) finish today, that’s what makes it unforgettable.”

Shiffrin broke a tie with Ingemar Stenmark to set the World Cup record for most career victories by winning the slalom on Saturday. List of all-time overall winners between men and women. Sweden competed in the 1970s and 80s.

Shiffrin tied Stenmark’s 86 wins With a win in the giant slalom on Friday.

“It’s so hard to understand,” said Shiffrin, who bowed and rested his head on his knees after finishing the final run. Second-place finisher Wendy Holdener of Switzerland and third-place finisher Anna Sven Larsen came to congratulate her.

“My brother and sister-in-law are here, I didn’t know they were coming, which is great,” Shiffrin said. “They flew here for this. I don’t know how they did it, I don’t know how they got here.”

Shiffrin set the absolute record 12 years after her first race at the World Cup as a 15-year-old at the GS in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic.

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In a course interview, Shiffrin said he was “very proud of the team, this whole season for being “strong and positive” and “having the right goals.”

Shiffrin accomplished the feat less than a month after his head coach Mike Day left the team In the second week of the World Championships in France.

However, Day’s withdrawal did not affect Shiffr’s achievements as she went on to win GS gold and slalom silver at worlds, and her overall World Cup title. He became the winningest ski racer in the 56-year history of the World Cup, celebrating victories in Sweden at the sprint races in Norway last weekend.

Saturday’s result marked the American’s sixth slalom win of the season and 53rd career victory in the discipline.

Shiffrin also holds the women’s record-equaling 20 wins in the GS, as well as five in the super-G, five in the parallel, three in the downhill, and one in the all-around.

“It’s so hard to describe — it’s not over yet, it’s still ridiculous,” said Shiffrin, who turns 28 on Monday and is expected to continue until at least the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy.

Aside from Stenmark’s record, which he never seriously chased, Shiffrin had no pressure on his shoulders Saturday in his 246th World Cup race, having already locked up the discipline title in the slalom.. On Friday, he also claimed the GS season title.

“At the beginning of this race I still had the feeling that every race, it’s like, I shouldn’t feel the pressure. But somehow I feel something in my heart rate,” said Shiffrin, who needed to protect her lead after dominating the first race.

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Shiffrin posted the fifth-fastest time in the second run, beating Holdener by 0.92 seconds. Sven Larsen was 0.95 back and the last racer to finish within a second of Schiff’s time. Shiffrin’s teammate Paula Moltsen finished fourth, 1.54 back, in the Americans’ first race since breaking her left arm last month.

“Of course the best feeling is skiing in the second run when you want to win, you have the lead, so you have to be smart, but I also wanted to be fast and ski the second run. It’s its own race,” Shiffrin said.

“I did it right, and it’s amazing.”

The race was the site of several key moments in Shiffr’s career. At the Swedish lakeside resort, she claimed her first World Cup victory in 2012 and won slalom gold at the 2019 World Championships, becoming the first skier to win four consecutive world titles in an event.

However, Arey was also the site of a knee injury that kept her off the slopes for two months during the 2015–16 season, and she had to return to racing in March 2020 after her father died the previous month. , but those races were called off at short notice after Shiffrin arrived in Sweden due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Shiffrin is set to compete in three more races this season, leading up to next week’s World Cup finals in Soldeu, Andorra.

While he planned to skip the downhill on Wednesday, he will race the super-G the next day, and the slalom and GS over the weekend.

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