US ski star Mikaela Shiffrin returns from injury to win record-equaling eighth World Cup slalom season title

US ski star Mikaela Shiffrin returns from injury to win record-equaling eighth World Cup slalom season title - Sports - News

Mikaela Shiffrin Triumphantly Returns from Injury to Claim Record-Equaling Eighth World Cup Slalom Season Title

After an absence of six weeks from the sport, skiing phenom Mikaela Shiffrin made a remarkable comeback to win her eighth World Cup slalom season title at Åre, Sweden on Sunday. Her victory ties her with Lindsey Vonn and Ingemar Stenmark, who both hold the record for eight crystal globes in a single discipline. Austrian star Marcel Hirscher holds the overall record of eight season titles but not in a singular discipline.

The triumphant win also marked Shiffrin’s 96th victory of her World Cup career, extending the overall record she had previously broken in 2023. This achievement came less than two months following a high-speed crash during an Italy downhill event, where she sustained sprained knee ligaments.

Sharing her elation on social media after the victory, Shiffrin expressed her gratitude: “Thank you to my whole team for their patience, support, and motivation throughout this entire period. It could have gone in a million different ways, but I’m incredibly thankful that it went this way.”

Demonstrating no signs of rust whatsoever, the 28-year-old’s performance was impressive, bursting out of the blocks with two lightning-quick runs. She finished with a total time that was 1.24 seconds quicker than second-place finisher Zrinka Ljutic of Croatia and 1.34 seconds faster than Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin in third place.

The victory brought some relief after a challenging few weeks for Shiffrin, who witnessed her boyfriend Aleksander Aamodt Kilde suffer a horrific crash during a World Cup downhill race in Switzerland. The Norwegian skier endured a dislocated shoulder, two torn shoulder ligaments, and a gnarly calf laceration that required emergency surgery due to nerve damage.

Shiffrin was by Kilde’s side at the hospital and remained with him during his recovery. The pair are now offering each other support in their respective rehabilitations, as Kilde still has a long journey ahead before considering a return to the sport.

On Sunday, Kilde took to social media to congratulate his girlfriend, expressing awe at her performance: “Some of the best skiing I’ve seen. Constantly in awe. I just can’t believe her.”