Schladming, Austria - Teen Mikaela Shiffrin from the United States won gold in the Slalom race on 16th February and became the third youngest ladies' Slalom champion in history. Silver went to local medal hope Michaela Kirchgasser while Sweden's Frida Hansdotter clinched bronze.
Shiffrin was absolutely overwhelmed after the race: “I haven’t yet realized what just happened. I don’t know if I ever will. It was crazy, there were so many emotions today. In the first run, I wasn’t quite awake and aware of the situation. Two minutes before the second run, I felt I could win and I did!”
The 17-year-old from Eagle-Vail, Colorado, skied an aggressive second run to come from third position to win gold by a +0.22 seconds lead.
An almost sold out stadium of over 25,000 was on hand in Schladming for the final weekend of the Championships and saw its hero Kirchgasser claiming silver on home soil. After the race, she was in happy tears: “ I am so extremely happy. I wanted to give all or nothing and it worked out!” Kirchgasser's team mate and defending World Champion Marlies Schild celebrated her comeback after a torn ligament in her right knee by a well-deserved 9th rank to the joy of the excited crowd on-site.
While 27-year-old Hansdotter who was in the lead after the first run did not make it to gold (+0.26 seconds), she was still satisfied with her performance: “I didn’t make it to the top but I am still super happy. I wanted to have a medal and I got it today. It feels great!”
Germany's Marie Hoefl-Riesch who was comfortably sitting in fourth position in the first leg unfortunately strattled a gate in an almost flawless run and did not finish the race.
Shiffrin, on the other hand, has boosted herself into the Slalom elite. In her second year on the FIS World Cup tour, she sensationally claimed three Slalom titles. The teenager also contributed to making the United States the most successful nation in these Championships. After Ted Ligety’s historic third gold in the Giant Slalom on 15th February and Julia Mancuso’s bronze in Super G, the team has now nailed a total of five medals.
Shiffrin is now the third youngest Slalom champion in history. The only skiers who were younger than her were Hanni Wenzel (LIE) at 17 years and 56 days in 1974, and Esme Mackinnon (GBR) at 17 years and 82 days in 1931.
Click here to see the list of results.