With the Alpine snowboarding World Cup returning to North America for the primary time in two years, Mikaela Shiffrin cannot wait to race in entrance of a house crowd once more.
This weekend’s two races in Killington, Vermont, are the one ladies’s World Cup occasions on American snow this season and for Shiffrin there may be each a private unbeaten streak and an all-time report on the road. She has gained all 4 earlier World Cup slalom races in Killington and the occasion had turn out to be a little bit of annual signpost for Shiffrin earlier than they had been canceled final yr due to the pandemic.
“I don’t know how you can quantify it, however it doesn’t really feel just like the season has formally began with out Killington,” Shiffrin mentioned. “To have that first race or the beginning-of-the-season races within the U.S., that’s been an enormous hallmark of each season that I’ve ever had.”
This season formally started in Sölden, Austria, in October, and Shiffrin already shares the lead within the total World Cup standings with Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, with each on 260 factors after the primary 4 races.
In Killington there’s a large slalom scheduled for Saturday and a slalom on Sunday, the place Shiffrin can match one more report. The 2-time Olympic champion has gained 45 World Cup slaloms, leaving her one in need of the report for many wins in a single self-discipline, set by Swedish nice Ingemar Stenmark with 46 large slalom victories within the Seventies and ’80s.
Whereas the 26-year-old Shiffrin hails from Vail, Colorado, she will virtually contemplate Killington a hometown race as she honed her expertise close by on the Burke Mountain Academy as a youngster.
“It’s actually thrilling, most likely as a result of I spent a lot time within the East Coast and I understand how passionate individuals are concerning the sport there,” Shiffrin mentioned. “We undoubtedly missed it final yr and it’s very thrilling to be trying ahead to it this yr once more.”
Shiffrin gained the season-opening large slalom World Cup in Sölden however completed second to Vlhova — her greatest rival — in each the slalom races in Levi, Finland final week. Each Shiffrin and Vlhova skipped a parallel occasion in Austria.
Shiffrin’s success has come regardless of an ongoing wrestle with again ache that has interfered along with her coaching schedule. And that might have an effect on her this weekend too.
“She’s had enormous success within the slalom, and knock on wooden I believe she’s gained it each time they’ve put it on (in Killington). However she undoubtedly has one thing to show with that GS hill,” mentioned Shiffrin’s coach, Mike Day. “With a again harm shortly after Sölden, we haven’t been capable of produce any GS quantity in any respect. … So we’ll be, I assume, working on fumes, so to say, so far as GS goes. However we’ll see what she’s capable of put collectively.”
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