Mikaela Shiffrin's record-setting winter continued Saturday when she became the winningest skier of all time. With her 87th win, she now holds the record for most World Cup victories.
Shiffrin won her 86th career World Cup just one day prior, in Åre, Sweden, by 0.64 seconds over Federica Brigone of Italy in giant slalom, which tied her with Swedish skier Ingemar Stenmark for the most wins by a male or female alpine skier in history. “She’s much better than I was … I could never have been so good in all disciplines,” Stenmark, 66, told the Associated Press.
Stenmark accomplished the feat in 1989 at the age of 32; Shiffrin made it happen before her 28th birthday. She took advantage of her first opportunity to break Stenmark's mark Saturday in slalom — an event in which she's claimed 53 of her 87 career victories. “I still had the same feeling in the start of this run that I have every race,” she told Austrian broadcaster ORF after the milestone victory Saturday.
Shiffrin won by 92 hundredths of a second over Wendy Holdener of Switzerland. She celebrated with deep breaths and crouched with her head to her knees. Moments later, Sweden's third-place finisher Anna Swenn Larsson offered her congratulations.
“You are f***ing insane,” Larsson said.
— U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team (@usskiteam) March 11, 2023
Now the greatest World Cup skier of all time, Shiffrin needed fewer than 12 years of her professional career to hit the mark. Stenmark took a little more than 15 years. Stenmark did win in fewer races — 230 versus Shiffrin's 245 — but the database of the International Ski and Snowboard Federation is reportedly missing some information during Stenmark's career in the 1970s and '80s.
Shiffrin has been on a tear recently. She's won six total giant slalom races so far this season and her fifth overall World Cup title and the slalom title. Friday's win was also her fourth straight wire-to-wire win in World Cup giant slaloms since January. She already broke Lindsey Vonn's all-time women's alpine World Cup wins record in January and later broke the individual world championship medals mark in February.
Coincidentally, the location of Friday's race in Åre was also the site of her first career World Cup win in 2012. “It was just a spectacular day,” Shiffrin said. “I just wanted to push and fight for it.”
"I've had a quite a few different experiences here," Shiffrin said Friday. "I have felt everything you can feel here, so it's special to be back."
The great Mikaela Shiffrin wins her 86th career race to equal Ingemar Stenmark’s all-time record. And she’s only 27 … pic.twitter.com/uF2NuZRhIY
— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) March 10, 2023
Shiffrin is up to 13 World Cup wins this season, the most for any man or woman in one season since her record 17-victory campaign in 2018-19. She is expected to race three more times at next week’s World Cup Finals in Andorra.