A total of 34,000 fans (18,000 for Saturday’s races and 16,000 for Sunday’s competition) lined the course at Vermont’s Killington Ski Resort, all hoping to catch a blur of America’s brightest ski racing star since Lindsey Vonn (and, by all accounts, possibly the best and brightest ever by the time she finishes up her career) as she streaked down the World Cup slalom course over the weekend. And, true to form, Shiffrin didn’t disappoint. After finishing second in Saturday’s contest, she bested Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova by over a second and a half to finish Sunday’s race in first place, putting herself atop the field in overall World Cup points with 305 for the season. “You can’t make mistakes and still beat Mikaela,” remarked Vlhova on the day’s results, an observation that’s become all too familiar for any and all competitors who have set out to battle the young phenom on the slopes. At 22, she’s already notched 26 World Cup slalom wins, putting her third all-time in the category, and ninth all time for her 32 wins in all race categories. It’s mind boggling to think that although she’s barely scratched her 20’s, she might just be getting started.
While Shiffrin calls Eagle-Vail, Colorado home (a suburb of Vail and Beaver Creek that’s nestled on I-70 between the two resorts), her family has New England roots, and she attended Vermont’s Burke Mountain School, making the win a special occasion for the throngs of fans that came out to see her race over the weekend. If she (and they) have their way, this will be just one of many wins they’ll be able to celebrate together. Shiffrin and the rest of the field travel to Lake Louise, Canada, to continue the race season next weekend.
All photos courtesy of Killington Resort.