Mikaela Shiffrin has staked her claim as the greatest female alpine skier in history.
The 27-year-old American won a giant slalom on Tuesday in Kronplatz, Italy, for her record-breaking 83rd victory on the women’s World Cup circuit, surpassing the mark held by compatriot Lindsey Vonn.
Her combined time of 2min 00.61sec over two aggressive runs down the precipitous Erta course was 0.45sec better than Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami, who placed second. Italy’s Federica Brignone was 1.43sec off the pace for third.
After collecting herself in the finish area, Shiffrin pumped her right fist to the crowd before shouting in elation and embracing Gut-Behrami and Brignone.
“I don’t know if I can add something,” Shiffrin said in the immediate aftermath. “It might take me a little bit to figure out what to say. I have a new YouTube episode coming out tonight or tomorrow. I think it kind of explains my emotions.”
It was Shiffrin’s fifth opportunity to break Vonn’s record since matching it earlier this month with a giant slalom win in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. She was denied the mark by longtime rival Petra Vlhova in a slalom in Flauchau, Austria, before failing to reach the podium in two downhill races and one super-G over the weekend in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
But on Tuesday, the four-time overall World Cup champion laid down the fastest first run, then held off all comers on her second attempt a few hours later after the course conditions had deteriorated. She has now won nine of her 20 starts on the season.
Shiffrin needs only three more wins to match Ingemark Stenmark’s overall mark of 86 victories for men and women. That could happen before long. She has won nine races already this year with roughly a dozen to go before the season ends with the World Cup season finale in March.
Stenmark, the great Swedish star of the 1970s and 80s, himself predicted last year that Shiffrin, who plans to ski at least through the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina, will retire with more than 100 wins.
Once a teenage prodigy who became the youngest Olympic slalom champion in history at the 2014 Sochi Games, Shiffrin has since blossomed from a specialist into the world’s best all-around skier. She has branched out into the speed events with success and become the only skier, male or female, to win World Cup races in all six disciplines: slalom, giant slalom, downhill, super-G, combined and parallel slalom.