Shiffrin tops record $1M in prize money

Favorite record came in 2014

The Associated Press
United States’ Mikaela Shiffrin competes in an alpine ski, women’s World Cup giant slalom race, in Soldeu, Andorra, Sunday, March 19, 2023.
Alessandro Trovati/AP Photo

SOLDEU, Andorra — After capping her record-setting season with career win 88, Mikaela Shiffrin was asked one question over and over again – and she couldn’t really answer it.

What’s next?

“What do you think will come next? How many victories?,” Johan Eliasch, president of the International Ski and Snowboard Federation, wanted to know after handing Shiffrin her fifth big crystal globe, the prize for winning the World Cup overall title.

“I don’t have a guess at how many,” Shiffrin replied. “Sometimes a part of me feels like that’s always my last victory. I hope not, I keep heading for more.”

A week after breaking the record of Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark, the American extended the all-time best mark for most career wins to 88 by winning the last race of the season, a giant slalom at the World Cup Finals on Sunday.

Her 21st career win in the discipline marked yet another milestone as it moved Shiffrin past Swiss skier Vreni Schneider, who had 20 World Cup GS victories between the mid-80s and mid-90s. The American has won seven of the last eight events and took the GS world title last month.

The overall record, between men and women, is held by Stenmark, who won 46 giant slaloms in the 1970s and 80s.

The “what’s next?” question also came from her boyfriend and World Cup downhill champion, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who conducted a course-side interview after the race.

United States’ Mikaela Shiffrin, right, and boyfriend Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde look at each other on the last day of the alpine ski, World Cup season, in Soldeu, Andorra, Sunday, March 19, 2023.
Alessandro Trovati/AP Photo

“I don’t know, you guys tell me. Just keep moving right along,” said Shiffrin, who also secured the slalom and GS titles this season.

After Kilde asked her about plans to improve for next season, Shiffrin quipped: “We can discuss that later, in private.”

Shiffrin also set a personal best of 2,206 World Cup points from 31 starts this season, two points more than her tally from 2018-19, when she competed in 26 races.

Only one skier secured more points in a single season: Slovenian great Tina Maze ended her 2012-13 campaign on 2,414.

Later, Shiffrin posed for photos with men’s overall champion Marco Odermatt, who set the men’s record of 2,042 points. It’s the first World Cup season in which both the women’s and men’s overall champion finished on more than 2,000 points.

Sunday’s result also marked Shiffrin’s record 138th career World Cup podium, moving her one ahead of former teammate Lindsey Vonn’s mark of 137.

But for Shiffrin, her personal favorite record came nine years ago.

“Honestly, I think probably being the youngest Olympic slalom champion. That was really the only record that I actually ever wanted, like really shot for,” said Shiffrin, who was 18 when she won her first Olympic gold at the 2014 Sochi Games.

“It happened quite some time ago, and I’m still motivated today, I still had that nervous feeling up there. I was so nervous at the start … because you want to do well. And it doesn’t matter about records, it’s just you want to do well.”

Shiffrin earned another piece of World Cup history on Monday — the first Alpine skier with $1 million to top the season-ending race prize money list.

Shiffrin’s win in a giant slalom Sunday lifted her total prize money total race organizers to 964,200 Swiss francs ($1.04 million).

That set the all-time Alpine World Cup record and moved her earnings above Marco Odermatt, whose giant slalom win Saturday in his last race of the season set a men’s record with 941,200 Swiss francs ($1,017,000).

Shiffrin’s previous best prize total was 886,000 Swiss francs ($958,000) in the 2018-19 season, when she also won the women’s overall World Cup title. She won her fifth title this season.

Her prize money total was almost three times more than the next highest earning woman, Sofia Goggia, whose 338,000 Swiss francs ($365,000) was boosted by five wins in downhill.

After Odermatt, the next best men’s earner with 623,000 Swiss francs ($673,000) was Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, Shiffrin’s partner.

Kilde’s eight World Cup race wins included the most lucrative race of the season, a downhill at Kitzbuehel, Austria. It pays 100,000 euros ($107,000) to the winner.

Odermatt’s total topped the previous men’s record of 670,000 Swiss francs ($724,000) set by Marcel Hirscher in his overall title-winning season of 2017-18.

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