Crystal Globes Won By Mikaela Shiffrin, Ted Ligety At World Cup Finale
The coveted crystal globe – the traditional award for winning a World Cup discipline -- remains in familiar, competent hands. Olympic Gold Medalist Mikaela Shiffrin won her second straight globe in the slalom, while Olympic Gold Medalist Ted Ligety claimed his fifth giant slalom globe Saturday. The World Cup finals wrap up Sunday in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Shiffrin, from Eagle-Vail, Colo. who turned 19 Thursday, won her fifth Audi FIS World Cup slalom race of the season in dominant fashion. She defeated Swede Frida Handsotter by a 1.44 second margin. The victory solidified her season-long dominance after she had clinched the title a week ago.
This was Shiffrin’s ninth World Cup win tying the U.S. record for either gender held by Tamara McKinney and Phil Mahre. However, both were 24 by the time they did it. The victory also ties Shiffrin with Picabo Street for third most World Cup wins in all disciplines by U.S. women behind Lindsey Vonn, 59 wins, and McKinney, 18.
“I’m very proud,” Shiffrin said. “One of my goals this year was to hold onto the slalom globe and I did that today.” She said she was already looking forward to the first slalom race next year in Levi, Finland. She’ll get to visit her baby reindeer, won in Levi last December.
Ligety’s race and Giant Slalom globe pick-up was a bit more dramatic and a nail-biter, for certain. It came down to a second run shoot-out with Austrian Marcel Hirscher. Ligety won the race and a points tie-breaker for the globe.
The chances didn’t look great for the American based in Park City, Utah at the start of the day. He needed to both win the race, and for Hirscher to finish fourth or lower. That didn’t happen until the last racer down the course, German Felix Neureuther, bumped Hirscher from the podium by just a hundredth of a second.
“I’m super thrilled,” Ligety said, noting the down-to-the-wire finish was a “testament to the fortitude of Marcel (Hirscher) to get on the podium in every race.” He added, “I’m happy to walk away with it.”
Photo: America's Mikaela Shiffrin wins Crystal Globe in slalom at World Cup Finals (Mikaela SHiffrin/Facebook)