Mikaela Shiffrin grabbed the women’s 2023 Audi FIS Ski World Cup season and ensured it will never be forgotten.
Records – many of them once considered unbreakable – fell like confetti. The numbers piled up and Alpine skiing found itself on the front pages again and again. The American superstar heads to the beach with her legend secure.
But Shiffrin is not the only titan in women’s skiing right now. Sofia Goggia continued to push her claim to be one of the greatest downhillers of all time, while all-rounder Lara Gut-Behrami shone at times like few have done before her.
Elsewhere, moments of magic delighted many, leaving fans already looking longingly towards next season.
Shiffrin touches the sky
You could write a book – and no doubt people will – on Shiffrin’s 2023 exploits. But there is only one place to start.
On 11 March 2023, at the age of 27, Mikaela Shiffrin became the most successful Alpine World Cup skier ever. Eighty-seven World Cup victories from 246 starts in exactly 12 years. That meant she had won more than one in every three World Cup races she had started – even the great Ingemar Stenmark could not keep up those numbers.
A deep dive into her recently concluded season further illustrates the level of athlete the sport has on its hands. In World Cup slalom races, Shiffrin lined up 11 times, won six, finished second three times, came third once and had a worst result of fifth.
It got even better in giant slalom: the American claimed seven of the 10 races. She rounded off the season with a run of eight wins in nine GS races, a tally which included World Championship gold.
A super-G win – from one of just five starts in the discipline – took her World Cup season tally to 14 victories from 31 starts. Only Shiffrin herself has ever won more times in a single campaign. Her final score of 2,206 points stands behind only Tina Maze’s miracle 2,414 garnered from 35 starts in 2013.
It is tempting to go on and on: Shiffrin’s final win of the season, in the GS at the Finals in Soldeu, was her 21st World Cup triumph in the discipline and took her to 138 World Cup podiums – both are records. But you have to stop somewhere.
Although, in superb news for the sport, Shiffrin said, “I am just getting started,” after cruising past Stenmark’s record.
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