Burke Mountain Academy Grad Mikaela Shiffrin was disappointed with her 5th place finish in the GS on Saturday, but we all knew that her strong suit was the slalom on Sunday and boy, did she come through.
Nearly 12,000 in attendence Sunday in Killington for the women's Slalom. Shiffrin came into the day having won the last 9 World Cup slalom races in which she competed. She was the very first skier down the course in the first run and she set the pace right off the bat, finishing in 43.30 seconds.
"I went through moments today where I thought maybe I should just not do this, because I'm so worked up right now and nervous and worried about all the wrong things," said Shiffrin. "I don't know, it just wasn't very enjoyable."
Shiffrin spent the rest of her morning waiting to see how the other competitors fared in their first runs. Only one other skier had a time under 44 seconds in that first run, Slovakia's Veronkia Zuzulova. She finishes her first run in 43.95 seconds and her 44.73 second time in run number 2 was good enough to put her in first place overall. That was, of course, before Shiffrin took to the hill for the final run of the day.
"I've been in that position a bunch of times now and you never really get used to it," Shiffrin said. "The same thought always crosses through my head at least once, right when I'm about to go, I'm like I'm the last one. I'm the closing act. Here we go. I hope I don't screw it up."
With the majority of fans cheering her on, Shiffrin's second run time of 44.65 seconds gave her a winning overall time by seven-tenths of a second.
"Sometimes by hearing the crowd I think, oh I must be doing well, maybe I can take my foot off the gas," Shiffrin said. "And then sometimes I think, uh oh, they're trying to cheer me on to get me to ski faster and that was sort of my feeling today, just make faster turns and keep trying to pick up the pace, because nothing is going to be good enough, except for fighting as hard as you can. I definitely can see in these kinds of races, the crowd totally carried me down the hill."
It's the 21 World Cup Slalom win for Mikaela Shiffrin, which ties her with legendary Swiss skier Erika Hess for most all time in a career, and Shiffrin's only 21 years old.
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