American skiing star Mikaela Shiffrin is one win away from equaling Lindsey Vonn’s record of 82 World Cup wins after taking victory in the slalom competition in Zagreb, Croatia, on Wednesday.
That was Shiffrin’s fifth consecutive win – and she might not be done yet. With another slalom in Zagreb scheduled for Thursday, the 27-year-old could match compatriot Vonn’s record and secure her place in skiing history.
Shiffrin is also only five wins away from equaling the overall record for World Cup wins, currently held by Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark.
“I’m incredibly happy,” said Shiffrin after her victory in challenging conditions. “I had so much fun skiing today. It was really my best skiing (on) both runs.
“Nothing less than the best is going to work. I was taking all the risks I needed and made it to the finish. It’s just an amazing feeling when it’s good enough.”
After taking a 0.23-second lead in the first run, Shiffrin mastered the softening, slushy snow in Zagreb on her second run to finish 0.76 seconds ahead of Slovakia’s Petra Vlhová, the Olympic slalom champion, and 1.21 seconds ahead of Sweden’s Anna Swenn Larsson.
Shiffrin’s winning streak stretches back to the Super G competition in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on December 18, after which she recorded victories in the giant slalom (twice) and slalom in Semmering, Austria.
The only female skiers to win more consecutive races are Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider, who won eight in a row between 1988 and 1989, and Germany’s Katja Seizinger, who won six in a row in 1997.
Shiffrin’s recent form is a remarkable turnaround from the start of last year when the three-time Olympic medalist failed to get on the podium at the Beijing Games.
With five slalom wins in her past five races, Shiffrin was the strong favorite to win Thursday’s race on the same track, before high temperatures and wind canceled the event.
The first run had been due to start at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. Eastern Time) and the second at 6 p.m. (12 p.m. ET).