Big moves were made last weekend at the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational on Aspen Mountain. 16-year-old American Mikaela Shiffrin (of Eagle-Vail, Colorado) earned a top-10 finish in her second ever Audi FIS Alpine Wolrd Cup slalom. Shiffrin was surprised by turning a bib 37 start into an eighth place finish even though she’s been performing at a stellar level since becoming the youngest U.S. Champion in history after capturing the slalom title last March in Winter Park.
The extremely gracious Shiffrin said, “All I can say is this is unreal. I’ll for sure be excited for the next five months, but it’s also probably going to take five years to even realize that I’m racing World Cup.” She added, “I always want to win, but it’s going to take a long time for that. If I had any expectations for today, then this far exceeded them.”
Austria’s Marlies Schild, the defending World Cup slalom champion, won the event by beating out the world’s top female skiers with a combined time of 1:43:72. Second place went to Maria Pietilae-Holmner of Sweden with a time of 1:44:91 and the podium was rounded out by Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch in third.
Second place finisher Pietilae-Holmner reflected, “I like the snow, it’s pretty technical, I like the terrain. The GS course was pretty tight and snow was gripping. I have had a lot of places but not a lot of podiums, and today I just wanted to ski and not think too much.”
More than $200,000 was given out over the entire weekend to fast and furious female racers. Follow the women’s tour as it moves to its next location at Lake Louse.