US teen Mikaela Shiffrin cruised to her first World Cup win, proving to the world that the American ski team is still competitive, even without superstar Lindsey Vonn.
The 17-year-old Shiffrin was able to win a night slalom in the first World Cup race since Vonn announced a break from the circuit. The teen edged Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter for the win.
Shriffin is considered the next big star for USA women’s skiing and her World Cup win certainly proves to the critics that the teen skier is on her way to fulfilling expectations, reports Yahoo! News. An outstanding second run gave the young star a combined time of one minute and 45.36 seconds. The teen stated:
“This is huge. I think the best part besides the skiing was the ceremony. It made me cry a little bit when I heard the American anthem.”
The teen American skier was challenged by overall World Cup leader Tina Maze when Maze took a large lead right before Shiffrin was scheduled to ski. Hansdotter was ahead of the teen in first place when she set a time that the first-run leader wasn’t able to match, notes The New York Times. Mikaela recalled of the runs:
“It wasn’t two perfect runs but it was two fast runs. Ahead of the second run, I guess I didn’t really feel any pressure. It feels more like something was pushing me forward rather than something pulling me towards the finish line.”
Teen Mikaela Shiffrin is the youngest women’s World Cup winner since 2008 when Lara Gut of Switzerland won a super-G in St. Moritz. The US ski team stated that the 17-year-old is the third youngest American woman to win a World Cup race.