For the primary time since Lindsey Vonn’s retirement, the U.S. girls’s ski workforce is now not solely depending on Mikaela Shiffrin for World Cup success.
Shiffrin was chargeable for all 34 American podium outcomes on the ladies’s circuit up to now two seasons, however three months into the present marketing campaign, two workforce members have scooped top-three outcomes as nicely.
Paula Moltzan completed runner-up in a parallel occasion in Austria in November, and Breezy Johnson added back-to-back third-place finishes in two downhills in France this month.
The season has additionally introduced a string of career-best outcomes for Nina O’Brien, Keely Cashman and AJ Damage.
“I’m actually enthusiastic about and pleased with our workforce,” Shiffrin mentioned after putting third within the year-end night time slalom in Semmering, Austria, on Tuesday.
“The whole lot is constructing. It’s been a extremely very long time since we had this a lot depth inside our whole ski workforce. It’s actually cool to see that.”
With a girls’s document of 82 World Cup victories behind her, Vonn retired in February 2019 after profitable downhill bronze on the world championships, however her final World Cup podium got here on the finals of the earlier season, in March 2018.
That very same season Shiffrin received her second general title whereas Alice McKennis Duran and Jacqueline Wiles additionally scored podium outcomes.
Since then, it has been all about Shiffrin.
She had 21 podiums, together with a record-breaking 17 wins, within the 2018/19 season, and 13 podiums the next marketing campaign, which was lower quick following the loss of life of her father, Jeff Shiffrin, in early February and the outbreak of the coronavirus.
This season Moltzan turned the primary workforce member to step ahead, ending a career-best tenth within the season-opening big slalom in October earlier than incomes her first podium six weeks later.
“I’m form of overwhelmed however I’m actually excited. I’m actually fortunate to have an awesome workforce to share it with,” mentioned Moltzan, who began racing on the identical Buck Hill in Minneapolis the place Vonn had her snowboarding roots.
Within the ultimate race weekend earlier than the Christmas break, Johnson was the subsequent workforce member to look within the highlight, getting her first two profession podiums on two consecutive days.
The Jackson, Wyoming native improved one place from her earlier greatest, when she completed fourth in a downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in February 2018 that was received by Vonn.
“I nonetheless will all the time say that I’m actually bummed that I by no means shared (a podium) with Lindsey Vonn. I used to be shut one time,” mentioned Johnson, who has recovered from extreme accidents to each knees since that race in Germany.
“After the accidents, I’ve a lot power, I’ve a lot enjoyable.
“Once we prepare, I’m like: ‘What number of runs can we take, can we take six, can we take seven?’ I’ve a lot love for the game and realizing that it could possibly be taken away at any second in a really possible way, I don’t take something without any consideration.”
Different workforce members have stepped ahead as nicely: O’Brien acquired a profession greatest in GS in October and added her first top-10 end result by ending ninth in Tuesday’s slalom; Cashman collected her first World Cup factors by coming seventeenth and sixteenth in two downhills in France earlier than putting tenth in a super-G the subsequent day; and Damage scored her first factors within the parallel occasion the place Moltzan completed second earlier than ending 18th in a GS in France.
“These are athletes that I’ve watched snowboarding for years,” Shiffrin mentioned. “I grew up snowboarding with them. I raced with them for 15 or extra years. I do know that they will have success within the World Cup.”
Shiffrin has contributed three of the American workforce’s six podium outcomes this season, together with a win at a GS in Courchevel, France.
The double Olympic champion and three-time general champion wasn’t hiding her pleasure about seeing her teammates fulfilling their potential.
“There are all these totally different tales that make them this place the place they’re lastly having success,” Shiffrin mentioned. “I’m simply it and I really feel so freakishly enthusiastic about it.”