Mikaela Shiffrin takes aim at record books with win at Maribor

CNN  — 

Mikaela Shiffrin maintained her dominance on Saturday with her 13th victory of the season, comfortably winning the slalom World Cup event at Maribor, Slovenia.

The 23-year-old American was leading going into her final perfectly executed run, finishing 0.77 seconds ahead of Sweden’s Anna Swenn-Larsson. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland finished third.

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“This year has been very special,” Shiffrin said, barely able to catch her breath in a TV interview immediately following her winning run.

“It’s always a big fight, but it’s something I’m really proud of this whole season. My team has done a great job … it’s hard to put it into words.”

The win came a day after Shiffrin finished tied for first place in the giant slalom with Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova.

The results earned Shiffrin a Golden Fox Trophy, awarded to the highest finisher in both technical disciplines for the tournament in Maribor.

“The first time I won the Golden Fox I thought, I’m starting to be more than just a slalom skier and that’s a nice thing,” she said.

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Chasing history

The victory took Shiffrin’s overall tally to 56 World Cup wins, passing Swiss great Vreni Schneider for third on the all-time list of women’s World Cup winners.

Austria’s Annemarie Moser Proell (62) sits in second place behind retiring American Lindsey Vonn (82).

This season, Shiffrin has become the first skier – male or female – to have won 16 races in a calendar year.

With her 13th victory this season, Shiffrrin is now just one short of the record of the most wins in a single season – Schneider won an unprecedented 14 races in 1988-89.

Shiffrin is bidding for a third straight World Cup overall title and leads Vlhova by 651 points in the season standings.

She is also chasing a fourth straight slalom world title at the World Championships in Are, Sweden this month.

Vonn to retire

The World Cup event was held just a day after the retirement announcement of Vonn, one of the most decorated skiers in history.

The American ski star has made the decision she was dreading, and will retire after the World Championships in Are, Sweden later this month.

READ: ‘I just can’t physically do it anymore’ – Vonn

The 34-year-old has enjoyed a glittering career and compiled a remarkable 82 World Cup victories to sit second on the all-time list behind Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark.

She has bounced back from serious injury multiple times, but the knee problem that has plagued her in recent years has forced her to bring forward her planned retirement at the end of the season.

“The past two weeks have been some of the most emotionally challenging days of my life,” Vonn wrote on Facebook.

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Lindsey Vonn's furry friends
01:46 - Source: CNN

“I am struggling with the reality of what my body is telling me versus what my mind and heart believe I’m capable of. The unfortunate reality is my mind and body are not on the same page. After many sleepless nights, I have finally accepted that I cannot continue ski racing.”

She added: “My body is broken beyond repair and it isn’t letting me have the final season I dreamed of. My body is screaming at me to STOP and it’s time for me to listen.”

Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion and two-time bronze medalist, will compete in the super-G on February 5 and downhill on February 10 in Sweden before exiting the sport she has graced at the top level since her debut as a 17-year-old in 2002.