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Jenny Simpson, America’s Most Decorated Militar, Changes Direction With New Sponsor

Mikaela Shiffrin said he achieved every possible statistical goal in the first 11 years of his alpine skiing career. Keep that in mind as the storyline for the next few seasons could turn to the World Cup winning record.

Shiffrin, who begins his 12th World Cup season in Sölden, Austria, in two weeks, has 74 victories on the circuit. The 27-year-old ranks third all-time behind Lindsey Vonnwho holds the women’s record of 82 victories, and Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmarkwho has the overall record of 86.

Shiffrin did a series of interviews Thursday at media day for his ski sponsor, Atomic. In one session broadcast by Atomic, he was asked: “Are you aiming for the record? … There are only 12 left. Normally, winning 12 races is a lot, but you’ve already won 74, so it doesn’t sound so much anymore.

“Just 12,” Shiffrin joked. “If you look at it like that, but maybe that’s an oversimplification.” (Note the big ones, including Americans Picabo Street and Julia Mancuso hasn’t won 12 World Cups in a career.)

Next, Shiffrin asked if the interviewer had actually said 74 – “Yeah, you’re 74,” the interviewer confirmed to Shiffrin, who was seated between other stars. Sophie Goggia from Italy and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde from Norway.

“Even after 74 years…one race is a lot,” Shiffrin continued. “Twelve [wins] it still feels like a big mountain to climb, of course, but it’s step by step or race by race. If I just focus on what’s to come in the next two weeks and go from there, we’ll see.

From 2017 to 2019, Shiffrin won the World Cup 11, 12 and 17 times. His last three seasons were cut short after the death of his father, the COVID-19 pandemic and back problems. She still won an average of five races each year.

In an earlier interview on Thursday, Shiffrin expressed confidence in his preseason form. She followed the Beijing Olympics in February, where her best individual result was ninth, winning her fourth overall World Cup title, the sport’s biggest annual prize, crowning the best all-around skier.

“End it [at last March’s World Cup Finals] in Méribel, this last race of the season, I thought to myself that I could take a moment to breathe,” she said. “There was also this part of me that was like, I didn’t want it to be the last race. I was already a bit anxious to start next season.

Shiffrin took less break than a year ago, spending 10 days in Maui. She had “really productive” training camps in Colorado, Switzerland and Chile and returned to Europe on Wednesday in preparation for the World Cup opener on October 22.

As always, the priority is to keep your slalom and giant slalom technique on top. As long as that unfolds, Shiffrin feels comfortable getting into the speed events, starting with the super-Gs. She plans to race both the slalom and the GS at the world championships in February, then possibly the super-G with the combined lower priority. The descent is “quite uncertain”, but she has a few months to make a final decision.

Of course, Shiffrin ran it all at the Olympics in February. In interviews last winter, she couldn’t explain why the greatest technical skier in history hadn’t completed any of her three technical runs at the Games.

Shiffrin gave a detailed two-and-a-half-minute response when asked Thursday if she’s returned this offseason to analyze those runs. Or if she sees them as an anomaly.

“Statistically it’s an anomaly, but there were a lot of culminating factors that could have been involved,” she said.

Simply put, she got on her inside ski in the first GS and fell in 13 seconds – “a technical fault that had far greater consequence than ever in any other race I’ve ever done.” In slalom, she had too much intensity, or too much speed, in a section that required more precision and skidded in less than six seconds – “I gave nothing, then I gave everything.”

“There was less room for error in Beijing due to the snow conditions,” said Shiffrin, who like all the other runners had never raced on this artificial snow slope. “I don’t think I considered it enough when I was skiing to bring it up sometimes when necessary. But I wasn’t skiing either to boost my spirits or get to the finish. I was skiing to love, to blow up the course. I was going there.

She hopes to adopt that mentality this season. In the spring and summer, she spent more time developing gear that works better on the softer snow, which is becoming more and more common at World Cup venues given the warmer temperatures.

“If you have a checklist of goals you want to achieve before you retire, in fact, my checklist is complete,” she said. “If I had one, it would be complete. Somehow I feel like I still have something left to accomplish or to ski faster, that’s why I’m here. I hope I can remember that when there are points in the season that are stressful or under pressure. There is nothing to do. »

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