Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova added two reindeer to the herd this weekend with double wins in the season’s Slalom opener. Vlhova attacked the course slicing past the gates winning three of the weekend’s four runs (each race has a qualifying run and final run) and earning two 1st place finishes. The weekend’s success marks Vlhova’s 9th and 10th career slalom wins and 5th straight Slalom victory.
Under the glow of the Northern Lights the pinnacle of Vlhova’s weekend came when she was presented with the promised prized reindeer that she promptly christened “Pepi” and “Lujza” (pronunciation please?). They did not take questions from reporters.
The weekend also marked the comeback of sensation Mikaela Shiffrin (USA). Shiffrin’s 2019/20 season was sadly cut short by the death of her father, Jeff Shiffrin, in early February. While she reporting “feeling a bit lethargic”, Shiffrin was quick to deliver a 2nd place finish Saturday and top 5 finish Sunday. For Shiffrin, the weekend’s comeback performance erased any doubt about her confidence and mental preparation for the season.
Swiss veteran Michelle Gisin swapped finishes with Shiffrin clinching 5th on Saturday and 2nd on Sunday and posting her best career result and 9th career podium. Austrian Katharina Liensberger put together a series of formidable runs earning two 3rd place finishes. Rounding out the two days of competition was Gisin’s Swiss teammate Wendy Holdener falling to fourth both days.
The World Cup moves to Austria for the Women’s and Men’s parallel races on Thursday and Friday.
World Cup ski racing on Thanksgiving Day…now that’s something we can be thankful for!