SOLDEU Andorra — After capping her record-breaking season with 88 career wins, Mikaela Shiffrin was asked a question over and over again, and she couldn’t really answer it.
“What do you think will come next? How many victories?” Johan Eliasch, president of the International Ski and Snowboard Federation, wanted to know after presenting Shiffrin with his fifth great crystal ball, the prize for winning the overall World Cup title.
“I can’t guess how many,” Shiffrin replied. “Sometimes a part of me feels like that’s always my last win. I hope not, I keep going for more.
A week after beating the record of the great Swede Ingemar Stenmark, the American extended all-time best mark for most career wins to 88 by winning the final race of the season, a giant slalom in the World Cup final on Sunday.
His 21st career win in the discipline marked another milestone, as it saw Shiffrin pass Swiss skier Vreni Schneider, who had 20 wins in the GS World Cup between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. The American has won seven of the last eight events, taking the world GS title last month.
The overall record, between men and women, is held by Stenmark, who won 46 giant slaloms in the 1970s and 1980s.
The following?” The question also came from her boyfriend and downhill world champion, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who conducted an interview on the field after the race.
“I don’t know, you tell me. Keep going,” said Shiffrin, who also clinched the slalom and GS titles this season.
After being asked by Kilde about plans to improve for the upcoming season, Shiffrin quipped: “We can discuss that later, in private.”
Shiffrin also set a career-high 2,206 World Cup points in 31 starts this season, two points more than his tally from 2018-19, when he competed in 26 races.
Only one skier has scored more points in a single season: the great Slovenian Tina Maze finished her 2012-13 campaign with 2,414.
Later, Shiffrin posed for photos with men’s overall champion Marco Odermatt, who set the men’s record of 2,042 points. It is the first World Cup season in which both the overall women’s and men’s champions finished with more than 2,000 points.
Sunday’s result also marked Shiffrin’s 138th career World Cup podium finish, surpassing former teammate Lindsey Vonn’s mark of 137.
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But for Shiffrin, his personal favorite record came nine years ago.
“Honestly, I think I’m probably the youngest Olympic slalom champion. That was really the only record that I really ever wanted, that I really aimed for,” said Shiffrin, who was 18 when he won his first Olympic gold at the 2014 Sochi Games.
“It happened quite a while ago, and I’m still motivated today, I still had that nervous feeling up there. He was so nervous at first… because you want to do it right. And the records don’t matter, it’s just that you want to do well.”
With the sun shining down on the Avet field, Shiffrin held on to her lead in the first race to edge Thea Louise Stjernesund by 0.06sec. The Norwegian got the first podium of her career.
Canadian skier Valerie Grenier was third, trailing Shiffrin by 0.20.
Three of the top seven classified runners did not finish their first races, such as Petra Vlhova, who won Saturday slalomFederica Brignone and Olympic champion Sara Hector missed a gate.
Two-time former world champion Tessa Worley placed 11th in what she said would be the last race of her career. The French GS specialist has won 16 races and three season titles, most recently last year.