Alpine

Shiffrin Fifth in Killington GS

by
Courtney Harkins
2016-11-26 14:00
 

KILLINGTON, VT (Dec. 26, 2016) – 16,000 fans showed up at Vermont's Killington Mountain to watch the best giant slalom skiers in the world race their home hill of Superstar. With one of the largest women's alpine racing crowds in the history of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup, the noise was deafening, with people driving from far and wide to cheer on their heroes at the first World Cup in the east coast in 25 years. Delighting the crowd, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) grabbed fifth place and spent hours signing autographs for aspiring athletes after her race.

The day opened with clear, warm weather, but it got steadily colder as precipitation and fog rolled in throughout the day. The track was rough with bumpy conditions due to the wet weather. Tessa Worley of France was first, with first-run leader Nina Loeseth of Norway in second and Sofia Goggia of Italy in third.


Fans celebrate at the Killington World Cup. (U.S. Ski Team - Tom Kelly)

Sitting in eighth after first run, Shiffrin threw down a solid second run to take fifth overall. “I’m happy with my second run and I’m taking steps forward,” said Shiffrin. “I’m happy to finish another GS. Last year my DNF rate was like 100 percent in GS races. I’m happy to have scored some points and I can build off of that.”

But the talk of the day was the crowd size. Fans streamed into the venue in droves. Even as the weather worsened throughout the afternoon, the crowd seemed to get louder and louder. Athletes from all countries stated how cool it was to see the number of ski racing fans, including Shiffrin, who went to nearby Burke Mountain Academy. “It’s amazing,” said Shiffrin. “The crowd is awesome—so many people and we’re all so excited about it.”


Mikaela Shiffrin skis the GS at Killington. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard)

Although they didn’t qualify for a second run, Nina O’Brien (Edwards, CO) and Patricia Mangan (Derby, NY) started their first World Cup in Killington, and Alice Merryweather (Hingham, MA) skied her first World Cup giant slalom.

“Julia Mancuso had a talk with us girls a few days ago and she was super supportive and told us to go for it—set your goals high and don’t leave anything behind,” said O’Brien. “I grew up skiing at Squaw Valley, but I went to Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont. I was super excited when I found out about (the Killington World Cup). The crowd is awesome—it makes your heart beat a little faster.”

Next up, the women race slalom Sunday with Shiffrin entering the field as the heavy favorite after winning the Levi slalom two weeks ago. “With slalom, I feel like most hills play to my strengths,” said Shiffrin, addressing the tough Killington hill. “It’s just about doing my best to put my training skiing out there. I’ve been training really well—a lot better than I even skied in Levi. I’ll be very disappointed if I can’t put that skiing out there.”

Tomorrow’s race will be live streamed on nbcsports.com and broadcast on NBC at 3 p.m. ET.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mikaela Shiffrin took fifth in the Killington giant slalom.
  • It was the first World Cup in the east coast in 25 years.
  • Giant slalom favorite Lara Gut of Switzerland did not finish first run.
  • Nina O’Brien, Megan McJames (Park City, UT) and Resi Stiegler (Jackson, WY) also did not qualify for a second run. Alice Merryweather and Patricia Mangan did not finish first run.
  • The women race slalom on Sunday. Stream the slalom on nbcsports.com and watch the broadcast of the race at 3 p.m. ET.

TV SCHEDULE 
Sunday, Nov. 27 – women’s slalom – NBC, 3:00 p.m. ET Live streaming available on nbcsports.com. 

QUOTES
Mikaela Shiffrin
I’m happy with my second run and taking steps forward. One of these days, I’m going to ski some fast GS. I’m happy to finish another GS. Last year, my DNF rate was like 100 percent in GS races. I’m happy to have scored some points and I can build off of that.

It’s amazing. The crowd is awesome—so many people and we’re all so excited about it. I’m fired up for tomorrow. I’m going to take a minute and reevaluate what’s going on with my GS and why I can’t seem to put my training skiing into the race. A lot of girls are really fast and pushing really hard and they all want to win just as badly as I do. I have to start skiing like I want to win.

In the morning, I definitely had nerves. In the afternoon, I was more pissed off, which seemed to help. I have to find my flow. When I’m a little nervous in the slalom, I can find some energy from the turn. In GS, my timing gets off. I totally miss the pressure and it’s just getting really frustrating.

Second run held up better than first run looked like. I didn’t feel like I was getting bounced around too much, but it’s not your perfect hard snow, that’s for sure. It seemed like the course held up better.

With slalom, I feel like most hills play to my strengths. It’s just about doing my best to put my training skiing out there. I’ve been training really well—a lot better than I even skied in Levi. I’ll be very disappointed if I can’t put that skiing out there.

Nina O’Brien
It was a wild ride, but it was fun. The crowds are huge here. Julia Mancuso had a talk with us girls a few days ago and she was super supportive and told us to go for it—set your goals high and don’t leave anything behind. I grew up skiing at Squaw Valley, but I went to Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont. I was super excited when I found out about (the Killington World Cup). The crowd is awesome—it makes your heart beat a little faster.

RESULTS
Women's slalom

DON’T FORGET: Make sure to follow the U.S. Ski Team’s #beastworldcup adventures via Snapchat (usskiteam), Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.