And in the end, Shiffrin wins.
The American skier made alpine skiing history this Sunday, equaling her compatriot Lindsey Vonn's record of 82 World Cup victories.
For this, the 27-year-old double Olympic champion dominated the giant of Kranjska Gora (Slovenia) head and shoulders.
In the lead after the first heat with 24 hundredths ahead of the Italian Federica Brignone by 24 hundredths, Mikaela Shiffrin increased her lead in the second heat by finishing 77 hundredths ahead of Brignone and 97 over the Swiss Lara Gut -Behrami who completes the podium.
Mikaela Shiffrin's 𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙧𝙙-𝙡𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 run in Kranjska Gora!
𝗢𝘂𝘁𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 🤩@MikaelaShiffrin |
— Eurosport (@eurosport) January 8, 2023
“I was so nervous, probably because of that record 82 wins.
I can't believe it,” reacted the American on the verge of tears at the end of the race.
She had failed to reach this record on Saturday by finishing 6th on the same track.
“The conditions were incredible.
I was able to attack from start to finish.
I wanted to fight for that,” added the six-time world champion.
Stenmark's 86 victories in sight
Breaking the record of 82 victories at just 27 years old is a resounding feat in the history of alpine skiing, even more so when you look at the story of Mikaela Shiffrin.
At 15 years and 364 days, she made her first World Cup start a day before her 16th birthday.
The youngest Olympic slalom champion in history at 19, the American then suffered a serious injury during the winter of 2016, and was absent for part of the 2019-2020 season following the death of her father.
If Shiffrin arrives this Sunday at 82 victories, it is above all thanks to a versatility in all the disciplines of alpine skiing.
A slalom specialist with 52 victories (an absolute record for both men and women), the 27-year-old skier also knows how to win in giants, and even downhill.
After more than 230 starts in the World Cup, she has a maddening win ratio of more than 34%.
There is only one record left to go for Mikaela Shiffrin: the 86 victories of Swede Ingemar Stenmark.