USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Snow Queen Slalom In Zagreb
Mikaela Shiffrin, 17, became the first American to win two World Cup races before turning 18. The teen won the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom in Zagreb, Croatia before an overflow crowd and millions watching on TV Friday (Jan.4).
She takes home the prestigious Snow Queen trophy and jumped to the slalom title lead. She is also the youngest woman to win two slalom races in a season since 1977. Teammate Rosi Steigler was ninth in her return to the World Cup Top 10 since suffering an ACL injury at the 2012 World Cup finals.
Shiffrin clocked the fastest times in both runs to post a huge (in ski racing standards) 1.19 second margin of victory. Slovenian Tina Maze, who had held the season’s slalom lead, did not finish.
To start the New Year off even better was the fact Zagreb offered the biggest single race payday on the women’s tour at 50,820 Swiss Francs (roughly $55,000).
“I was in the zone where you feel like you’re skiing well and you almost feel unstoppable,” Shiffrin said after the race. “If you win, you always want to win by more and that just means you are always trying to ski better.”
She said, upon downing the Snow Queen crown and cape, “This is an amazing feeling. When I was little, I would put towels around my neck and run around my house like it was a cape on my back. Now, I have a real cape thing, and I’m really excited to go home with that.”
Photo: U.S. Ski Team