Today was Mikaela’s day to shine during a dreary day at Killington. The weather really was opposite of the excitement as she competed for her third straight Killington Cup slalom podium.
The snow during the second run was challenging from the weather. “There were a couple of times I wasn’t sure I was still on the course.”
Today’s crowd was smaller than the record-breaking attendance of Saturday, but the crowd was exuberant, cheering for nearly every skier, and not holding back at all for Mikaela. As Mikaela entered the gate for her second run, the crowd went wild.
“I could hear you from the start,” Mikaela told the crowd after her run. “It was the most amazing thing I’ve experienced in my life.”
Mikaela had a combined time of 1:43.25, with Petra Vlhova of Slovakia finishing in second more than half a second behind.
Petra Vlhova loves Killington and wants to come back. “I felt like I was home,” she said. “The crowd was really amazing. They push everyone to finish.”
Coming in third was Frida Hansdotter of Sweden. “The crowd is amazing. The kids are so fun. It’s one of the best races of the season. It’s so fun.”
Skiers woke up to a completely different Vermont weather system on day two of the AUDI FIS Ski World Cup 2018 on Killington’s Superstar trail. With a slight rain falling, the fog settled over the trail, giving spectators and athletes a challenging day. Mikaela Shiffrin, running third in the first run, skied to the lead, only appearing out of the fog five gates from the finish. Shiffrin bounced back from her fourth place finish in the Giant Slalom, proving that the first start position is hard to overcome. Starting with bib number 3 in the slalom, Mikaela crossed the finish line in 52.49, taking her place as the leader for this afternoon’s second run.
Mikaela now has a total of 45 World Cup victories. She is the dominant skier in America. Her take on the Killington Cup is a strong voice for continuing the only East Coast venue of the Ski World Cup.
“It’s not just another race,” Shiffrin said. “It’s a really special race. The crowd is just huge and their cheering for everyone. They are just here for the show.”
A couple of other US racers made a splash at the Killington Cup, showing a bright future for US Ski and Snowboard. Dartmouth skier Nina O’Brien wowed the crowd when she snagged a top 30 finish on Superstar. O’Brien, who made her World Cup debut at the 2016 Killington Cup, and now her second world cup appearance at the 2018 event. O’Brien had an impressive time of 1:49.05 to claim 23rd place.
Paula Moltzan, a skier at the University of Vermont, made her 19th career World Cup start, finishing in 1:48.14 for a solid top 20 at 17th place. The new, young skiers are showing the strength of NCAA skiing in America. Moltzan took home honors as an NCAA First Team All-American in slalom in both 2017 and 2018 as well as the NCAA Individual National Champion in slalom in 2017.