Not even a broken gate rolling down the course could stop Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin from returning to the top of the podium in her favorite discipline.
The American won a women’s World Cup race Sunday, five days after she had failed to finish a slalom run for the first time in four years.
In light snowfall, the American was leading the field by 0.19 seconds when a gate that she had just passed correctly broke and flew down the hill. Shiffrin skied over it but managed to stay on the course.
She fell 0.09 off the lead due to the incident, but accelerated in the bottom section to take the win, 0.19 seconds ahead of Wendy Holdener of Switzerland. Frida Hansdotter of Sweden came 0.31 behind in third.
“I skied over it a couple of times. It just kept coming at me,” Shiffrin said. “The gate was very solidly under my skis for a couple of turns. I felt it but it was OK. I was happy that I didn’t totally lose my ski and fall over.”
It was the American’s 27th career win, which puts her level with Phil Mahre in third place among American skiers with most World Cup wins, behind Bode Miller (33) and Lindsey Vonn (76). She also equaled Swedish standout Ingemar Stenmark’s feat of 27 victories before turning 22. Only Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria had more wins (41) at that age.
Shiffrin had her seven-race winning streak come to an end in Tuesday’s race in Zagreb, where she straddled a gate early in her first run.
“It’s always important to be able to change the mindset after something like in Zagreb,” she said. “It’s really easy to get worried about straddling, and then do it again, and again, and again. And then it becomes like a snowball effect and you can’t get out of it.”—AP