At the age of 27, American skier Mikaela Shiffrin made history when she became the all time leader in World Cup wins, for both men’s and women’s divisions, after winning her slalom event March 11 in Åre, Sweden.
This weekend, the two-time Olympic gold medalist surpassed Ingemar Stenmark’s record for most alpine World Cup wins during her 87th win. This season alone, she has taken home 13 World Cup wins and also holds the record for most for any man or woman in one season. During an interview with the International Ski Federation after Saturday’s event, she admitted that owning the title for leading alpine wins “pretty hard to comprehend.”
“The best feeling is to ski,” said Shiffrin, according to USA Today. “On the second run, of course, you want to when you have a lead, so you have to, sort of be smart, but also I just wanted to be fast too. And ski the second run like its own race. So I did. I did exactly how I wanted.”
Shiffrin also was pleased to discover her entire family was there watching her break the record. “My brother and sister-in-law are here. I didn’t know they were coming, so that makes it so special,” she said.
Although Shiffrin shows undeniable talent, she understands that the road to her historic win was not possible with those who supported her through the journey. “To the whole team and all the people who have helped me this whole season and whole career, all these people reaching out now after all these years, it’s pretty incredible,” she relayed post-race. “I just want to say thank you for that.”
Ingemar Stenmark believes Mikaela Shiffrin is ‘much better’ than he was during the prime of his skiing career
Even Stenamrk, the man who formerly held the world record for most alpine wins in both men and women competitions, expressed an appreciation for Shiffrin’s athletic talents.
“She’s much better than I was. You cannot compare,” he told the Associated Press after the world record was broken. “She has everything. She has good physical strength, she has a good technique, strong head. I think it’s the combination of everything makes her so good.”
“And I’m also impressed that she can ski good both in slalom and in super-G and downhill also,” Stenmark added. “I could never have been so good in all disciplines.”
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