Shiffrin Dominates once more at World Cup City Event as Team USA Names its squad for St Moritz
Team USA’s slalom specialist Mikaela Shiffrin continued her winning form with victory in Tuesday night’s (Jan 31) Audi FIS Ski World Cup city event in Stockholm, Sweden. In the first race of the evening, in front of thousands of energized Swedish fans, Shiffrin and France’s Adeline Baud Mugnier were locked in a tight battle until Shiffrin went wide with seven gates to go. However, Baud Mugnier, sensing an upset over the No. 1 seed, pushed too hard and fell into Shiffrin’s lane.
“Starting first, I had really no idea how the course was going to run, and I just tried to go for it,” said Shiffrin. “There was a bit of bumpiness at the bottom of the course, and I just didn’t stand on my outside ski, but Adeline kind of hit the bumps and shot into my course. Actually it was quite lucky for me that I made that mistake and slowed down, because if I hadn’t she might have hit me.”
From then on, it was Shiffrin who was doing the hitting, knocking out the next two competitors she faced – Canada’s Marie-Michele Gagnon and home-crowd favorite Frida Hansdotter, to set up the match of the evening that all the fans waited to see – No. 1 seeded Shiffrin against No. 2 seeded Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia.In the finals, Shiffrin won the first run by a slim 0.10. In the second run, Shiffrin took a half-gate lead midway down to the course. But Zuzulova hit the gas and closed the gap over the jump. However, she carried too much speed into the final gates and blew out of the course, allowing Shiffrin to cruise to her first career city event victory and 100 World Cup points.
TEAM USA Named for 2017 World Championships
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) has named its team for the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Championships when the championships which were last held here in 2003 return once more to St. Moritz, Switzerland from February 6-19. Team USA athletes who have been on the podium are Mikaela Shiffrin (eight first places – two giant slalom, six slalom), Lindsey Vonn (one first place – downhill), and Jackie Wiles (one third place – downhill). Shiffrin currently leads the World Cup standings in a heated battle with Switzerland’s Lara Gut. She also leads the slalom standings and is second in the giant slalom standings. Shiffrin successfully defended her slalom title in 2015 at World Championships, under pressure on home soil at Vail/Beaver Creek.
Lindsey Vonn Foundation ambassador Jackie Wiles recently grabbed her career-first podium in the downhill at Altenmarkt-Zauchensee.
Five-time World Championships medalist Julia Mancuso, who has been sidelined with a nagging hip injury and has been making a steady comeback, has been named to the team for the eighth time. This will also be Resi Stiegler’s eighth World Championships team.
The top two athletes by selection criteria in each event will get a start, as will the defending World Champion. Coaches will determine the remaining two spots the day prior to each competition.
Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA, (hometown) 7/3/84 (birthdate), Mammoth Mountain Ski Team (USSA Club); 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 (past world championships)
Breezy Johnson, Victor, ID, 1/19/96, Rowmark Ski Academy*
Julia Mancuso, Squaw Valley, CA, 3/9/84, Squaw Valley Ski Team (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Megan McJames, Park City, UT, 9/24/87, Park City Ski Team (2009, 2011, 2015)
Laurenne Ross, Bend, OR, 8/17/88, Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Mikaela Shiffrin, Eagle-Vail, CO, 3/13/95, Burke Mountain Academy/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (2013, 2015)
Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY, 11/14/85, Jackson Hole Ski Club (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 10/18/84, Buck Hill/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Jackie Wiles, Aurora, OR, 7/13/92, Pacific Northwest Ski Association/White Pass Ski Club (2015)
All of the World Championships action will be broadcast on NBC and NBCSN with live streaming on nbcsports.com/live.
Photos: USSA/Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard /AFP-Jonathan Nackstrand