Mikaela Shiffrin can break Lindsey Vonn’s record — if she can stay awake


KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia — Staying awake might be Mikaela Shiffrin’s biggest challenge as she prepares to try to set a record for women’s World Cup skiing victories.

Having poured out her emotions after matching Lindsey Vonn with career win No. 82 in an early morning giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, on Sunday, Shiffrin now needs to refocus, regain her energy and shift her sleeping patterns in time for a slalom to be held under the lights in Flachau, Austria, on Tuesday.

“It’s tough,” she said. “If I have a good first run then I don’t start until 9:45 (p.m.) in the second run and normally I’m well asleep by then. So we have to change the whole rhythm again.”

It’s the opposite of how Shiffrin went from an evening race in Zagreb, Croatia, last week to the earlier starting times in Slovenia.

But Shiffrin has learned throughout her extraordinary career how to deal with just these types of challenges, as displayed when she recently won five consecutive races across three different disciplines — super-G, giant slalom and slalom — at three different resorts.

Also, slalom is Shiffrin’s best event, the discipline that has accounted for 51 of her 82 wins — four of which came in Flachau.

Shiffrin has already won four of the six slaloms this season, including the last two.

No wonder she feels confident about setting the record in the hometown of Hermann Maier, another one of the most successful racers in the sport.

“If I ski my best slalom, I have a really good chance to take the victory,” Shiffrin said. “But there’s a lot of other athletes who are sick of that. So we’ll see what happens.”

While not quite as rowdy as the nearby men’s night slalom in Schladming, the Flachau race usually attracts a decent crowd of about 15,000 spectators.

Breaking the record in Austria, a country where ski racing is the top sport, would be memorable.


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