Killington Cup welcomes the fastest women ski racers, will Shiffrin defend her Slalom title for the fourth year?
By Polly Mikula
There’s no question that Mikaela Shiffrin is at the top of her game — a true superstar in ski racing. For the past three years, nearly 40,000 fans have traveled to see her race down the aptly named “Superstar” trail at Killington Resort — and win the Slalom race each year.
Can she do it again and defend her title as the Killington Cup Slalom Champion this Sunday, Dec. 1? Tens of thousands of fans hope so and will be cheering her on with cowbells, banners, hoops and hollers. Join in, spectating is free!
The competition is always tight, with hundredths of seconds often separating racers. This weekend 100 athletes representing 20 countries are expected to participate in this year’s Giant Slalom and Slalom events at Killington, Saturday and Sunday. The races will also be broadcast to an audience of 2.1 million people in 60 countries.
Outdoor concerts, fireworks and movie premiers will punctuate the races. Friday night Recycled Percussion kicks off the event at 4 p.m., D.J. Logic will play after the first Giant Slalom run on Saturday, and Vermont headliner Grace Potter will take the stage after the second run. Twiddle will entertain crowds between the Slalom runs Sunday to round out the live entertainment line up. All concerts will be performed at the festival village at the base of Superstar.
Shiffrin’s success last season
It’s hard to fully comprehend the record-breaking season Mikaela Shiffrin had last year. The 24-year-old, who graduated from Vermont’s Burke Mountain Academy in 2013, set a number of records. She blew past Vreni Schneider’s record of 14 World Cup wins in a season in early March and then went on to rack up two more wins for a new record of 17 in a season. To put that in perspective, Shiffrin won every World Cup or World Championship Slalom race she entered but one, where she finished second.
Following early season success at the Killington World Cup last year, where she won the Slalom event, Mikaela Shiffrin went on to have her biggest seasons since she made her World Cup debut at 15 years old at Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic, in 2011. Shiffrin won her first Super-G last December at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada and became the first athlete in FIS Ski World Cup history to win in all six disciplines.
“It was one of my big goals to win in every discipline when I first started racing!” Shiffrin said in a statement last year.
In all, Shiffrin won:
2019 Overall World Cup Champion
2019 Giant Slalom World Cup Champion
2019 Super-G World Cup Champion
2019 Slalom World Cup Champion
In addition to her four crystal globes, including the overall World Cup, she earned the most points — 2,204 points — of the season, second all-time only to Slovenia’s Tina Maze’s legendary season of 2,414 points in 2012-13.
Additionally, she won her sixth Slalom overall crystal globe in her seventh year of competing. She won 19 of the 29 World Cup or World Championship races she entered this season and podiumed in 24 of those. She had her 60th career win, which puts her in fifth for in all-time World Cup wins — 26 wins behind Ingemar Stenmark and 22 behind Lindsay Vonn. And she became the first ski racer to earn $1 million in prize money in a single season.
Her dominance in the sport, coupled with the tenacity and passion she brings to every race, has made her an inspiration to thousands. In fact, the Mikaela Shiffrin Fan Club has grown to more than 40,000 fans on Facebook.
Katy Savage and Lisa Lynn contributed to this report.