Mikaela Shiffrin clinches overall World Cup title
Third straight overall success for American
Sochi racing falls victim to weather
Dominik Paris double in Norway
Without skiing through a gate, Mikaela Shiffrin was crowned overall World Cup champion for the third straight year as the scheduled weekend events in Sochi fell victim to the weather.
The site of the 2014 Winter Olympics was supposed to play host to two speed discipline events, but heavy snow at Rosa Khutor forced their cancellation.
The all-conquering Shiffrin had already opted to skip Sochi, but she now has an unassailable 719-point lead over her nearest rival Petra Vlhova of Slovakia with only six races of the season remaining.
Confirmation of her overall crown came as she sat in a hotel room in Italy where the American has been training ahead of the World Cup finals in Andorra later this month.
“I have secured the overall globe, which is a strange thing because I’m sitting here on my bed,” said the slalom specialist in a video posted on her Twitter account.
“I feel like right here, right now I didn’t do something that: ‘oh here you go, you woke up today and here’s an overall globe.’”
Shiffrin has already wrapped up a third straight World Cup slalom crown and sixth in total, and she clinched her fourth consecutive slalom world title in Sweden last month.
A mark of her season has been her successful campaigning in the speed disciplines, in particular the super-G, where she leads the standings going into the finals, helped by the Sochi cancellations.
“This year it’s even something, maybe even more special, because a fair portion of my wins have come in super-G…and I always felt like the overall globe can mean ‘Best in the World’ but I wanted to be able to earn it in all events,” she added.
Shiffrin has joined her US compatriot, the now retired Lindsey Vonn, and Austrian Petra Kronberger in claiming three straight overall titles.
Only the legendary Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell, who won five in a row (1971-75), stands ahead of the 23-year-old, who is breaking a string of records with her dominant displays.
She has already equaled Swiss great Vreni Schneider’s record of 14 World Cup victories in a season.
With 1,794 points in the bag and a maximum of 100 points per race, Shiffrin is likely to fall just short of the best-ever tally under the modern scoring system – Tina Maze’s 2,414 points in 2013 – but it is still possible.
She will compete in next week’s racing in the Czech Republic ahead of the World Cup finals where she will look to clinch the super-G and giant slalom crowns.
It will cap another amazing season for Shiffrin, who also won the super-G world title in Sweden.
“Third overall in a row. Third overall period,” a smiling Shiffrin said in her IGTV post.
“I’m not showing it a whole bunch. I could go jump around and do a little happy dance. It’s pretty crazy.”
Paris double double
In men’s World cup action, there was another notable double for Italy’s Dominik Paris as he took the super-G in Kvitfjell, Norway Sunday.
The in-form Paris had already taken the downhill title the previous day and recorded a time of one minute 29.20 seconds to edge out home favorite Kjetil Jansrud by 0.43sec and Swiss Beat Feuz by 0.60.
Paris has gone to the top of the super-G standings ahead of the World Cup finals with his victory.
It is his second double of the season, having previously achieved the feat on home snow at Bormio in December.
Second place for Jansrud was some consolation for his disappointing downhill display Saturday, coming into the event fresh from his world championship success in the discipline.