ALPINE SKIING: First race, first gold for Mikaela Shiffrin in Alpine Worlds

American skiing superstar Mikaela Shiffrin

What will be a historic year for Mikaela Shiffrin became even more legendary as she skied to her first World Championships gold outside of the Slalom in Are, Sweden, winning the Super-G by 0.02 seconds on Tuesday.

And now?

“I’m going to take a minute tonight and talk with my coaches and see what we think we can do for the rest of these World Champs,” Shiffrin said.

It’s not unusual for a skier to win two golds in a Worlds, but three or more is tougher. The last woman to win three in a single Worlds was Sweden’s Anja Parson – in Are – in 2007, when she won the Downhill, Super-G and Combined.

Shiffrin was already the favorite in the Slalom and Giant Slalom, but with the Super-G win – not totally unexpected, but still remarkable – she could take a run at the Combined and even the Downhill, if the weather (and the schedule) hold up.

On Tuesday, Shiffrin and teammate Lindsey Vonn were nos. 15-16 out of the start gate, both chasing a sensational run by Italy’s Sofia Goggia, the no. 3 starter, at 1:04.91. But Shiffrin was on the gas the entire way and almost missed a gate, but managed to finish.

“I knew that everybody was pushing really hard, and the surface was amazing, so you could really go for it,” she said. “You had to have the balance between risk and also really nice turns. I was going really aggressive, and just the one spot towards the bottom where I had to fight to stay in the course, but otherwise it was all good and I was accelerating all the way.

“This is crazy. It was a really tight race: seven-hundredths to fourth place, I mean, come, on.”

Next up, Vonn crashed out after missing a gate, but was able to ski down to the bottom of the course and embrace Shiffrin. Vonn still has one more race, the Downhill, after which she says she will retire. She tweeted afterwards, “If adversity makes you stronger I think I’m the Hulk at this point….”

Behind Shiffrin and Goggia came Corinne Suter (1:04.94) and German Viktoria Rebensburg (1:04.96). American Alice Merryweather, in her first Worlds, was 22nd in 1:07.22.

This was Shiffrin’s fourth World Championships gold, after the Slalom in 2013-15-17.

The Worlds continue Wednesday with the men’s Super-G and then the women’s Combined on Thursday and the women’s Downhill on Friday. Look for results here.

FIS Alpine World Championships
Are (SWE) ~ 5-17 February 2019
(Full results here)

Women’s Super-G: 1. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), 1:04.89; 2. Sofia Goggia (ITA), 1:04.91; 3. Corinne Suter (SUI), 1:04.94; 4. Viktor Rebensburg (GER), 1:04.96; 5. Nadia Fanchini (ITA), 1:05.03; 6. Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR), 1:05.05; 7. Francesca Marsaglia (ITA), 1:05.13; 8. Ilka Stuhec (SLO), 1:05.15; 9. Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI), 1:05.37; 10. Federica Brignone (ITA), 1:05.43. Also in the top 25: 22. Alice Merryweather (USA), 1:07.22.