After yesterday’s ultra tight GS times it was clear to see that the podium was up for grabs this week in Lienz, Austria. While you may have guessed that Marlies Schild would take first (since she has won all four World Cup slaloms this season), you never would have guessed that the sixteen year old Mikaela Shiffrin would have the fastest times of the second run of slalom to earn a third place finish!
When told of her times, Mikaela was in disbelief, “I didn’t know that I was the fastest in the second run until someone told me. I truly can’t believe it. Now I just have to keep my head on my shoulders and just keep skiing because those two runs today were so much fun and that’s what it’s all about.”
Even though it meant a third place victory, Shiffrin was thrilled to share a podium with Marlies Schild, “It’s been my dream to stand next to Marlies Schild on the podium and I did it. Actually being able to fullfill one of your dreams is a crazy feeling.”
While new to the World Cup circuit, with only 8 starts under her belt, Shiffrin competes with the savvy of a veteran and became the youngest U.S. champion in history last spring with a slalom victory at the Putnam Investments U.S. Alpine Championships. This marks the first podium of the young Shiffrin’s Audi FIS Alpine World Cup career and makes her the youngest female skier to podium in the World Cup slalom since Tamara McKinney and Sandra Poulsen back in 1973!
The Austrian Marlies Schild took first in front of a hometown crowd, and the Slovenian Tina Maze took second. Lindsey Vonn finished in 18th, but still retains a commanding lead in the overall points being 172 points over Schild.
In Bormio, Italy, Bode Miller of the men’s team was fifth in downhill to seize the World Cup downhill points lead.
Photography by Kevin Pritchard