Mikaela Shiffrin continues record push with sweep of World Cup races

SEMMERING, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 29: Paula Moltzan of Team United States takes 2nd place, Mikaela Shiffrin of Team United States takes 1st place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom on December 29, 2022 in Semmering, Austria. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

Mikaela Shiffrin is inching closer to Lindsey Vonn’s record, snagging World Cup win No. 80 in the women’s slalom Thursday in Austria.

She needs just two more wins to match Vonn’s record for women’s World Cup wins, and three more to eclipse her. Last week, Vonn called Shiffrin “the best skier that has ever lived.”

“She will break my record of World Cup wins very quickly and will become the greatest skier in history,” Vonn told a German newspaper.

That was, of course, before Shiffrin recorded a hat trick in this week’s races and earned wins No. 78, 79 and 80. Following the win, Shiffrin appeared to be speechless about reaching the milestone.

“I don’t have much to say about 80, I don’t know what to say,” she said.

Only two other skiers have recorded more World Cup wins: Vonn and Ingemar Stenmark, who had 86 career wins. No other alpine skier has recorded even 70 wins.

“I stopped wishing for things about three years ago,” Shiffrin said about possibly breaking Vonn’s record. “I am just here for the skiing, being able to do it with my teammates, and the amazing crowd and amazing people around, I couldn’t even dare to wish for that.”

It was also win No. 50 in the slalom for Shiffrin. She’s the first ski racer to amass 50 World Cup wins in a single discipline, as no other skier – male or female – has won an event more than 46 times.

“One thing that is easy to say: U.S. 1-2 in slalom, that is amazing. That is unbelievable,” Shiffrin said.

Fellow American Paula Moltzan reached her first career podium in slalom Thursday, marking the first 1-2 finish for the United States in a women’s World Cup slalom since 1971.

“Paula had a ripping run, I saw that from the start. I thought she might win this race. It’s so special to share a podium with her,” Shiffrin continued.

Moltzan said she “couldn’t be more proud of myself and the whole team” after the run.

“We made history,” she said. “We have a big team and all the girls are so fast, so it will only be days or weeks until they are really showing exactly what they can do on the hill, as well.”