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Piste queens Shiffrin and Vonn - never the twain shall meet

2019-02-06 07:46
Mikaela Shiffrin (Getty Images)

Are - Newly crowned world super-G champion Mikaela Shiffrin has been tipped to break all of skiing's records by outgoing team-mate and long-established star of the slopes Lindsey Vonn.

Shiffrin added super-G gold to her three consecutive slalom titles when she raced to victory at the world championships in Are, Sweden, on Tuesday.

With just three super-G victories among her 56 World Cup wins, her performance on the hard-packed Swedish slopes shows just how much all-round talent the 23-year-old has.

"I wish her all the best for the future, I think she's going to break all the records," said the 34-year-old Vonn, the most successful women's skier of all time, but who crashed out of the super-G.

"There's kind of no point me breaking them, because she's going to break them anyway!"

Vonn will hang up her skin-tight catsuit after the Are worlds with 82 World Cup victories to her name, four short of Swedish icon Ingemar Stenmark's record.

While Vonn will bow out at Sunday's downhill, Shiffrin finally took the decision about what other events she might go for, opting to skip both the alpine combined and downhill. 

"Downhill is far too much for me to manage," she said, having won only one downhill in her career, in Lake Louise in 2017. 

"This whole season has been a balancing act in racing all disciplines. 

"I don't want to be greedy here."

Shiffrin added that the switch from her strongest, more technical events like slalom and giant slalom to the speed disciplines took some getting used to.

"I hadn't skied at speed since Cortina," she said.

"So I had to adjust my mental gauge to how fast it is.

"I was quite nervous in the starting gate, and my coach was like 'Remember this is fun'.

"It was the perfect thing to say because I was able to do that."

Vonn admitted to spending very little time with her younger team-mate, also counselling that she should not forget to toast victory.

"It's fun to see," she said of Shiffrin.

"She's obviously incredibly talented. She approaches skiing in a much different way than most, or maybe everyone.

"It's very methodical and technical, kind of the opposite to me, but that's why she's had so much success."

Vonn added: "I just wish her continued success and I think most importantly health and happiness because you also have to enjoy that success, otherwise it's not so much fun.

"We have respect for each other. It's kind of different, she has got her team and she has her own thing going on and I have mine.

"We don't work together, I don't see her very often. She's never training with us. I honestly don't know her very well - there's not many people I don't know.

"It's kind of interesting that I don't know her very well."

Turning to her farewell to top-class ski racing, Vonn said she hoped Stenmark would be present for the downhill.

"I think he was planning to come up a little bit later, but I'm going to try to convince him to come up a little bit earlier," she said.

"I think having my last race with him being there would be the best farewell I could have."

Read more on:    lindsey vonn  |  mikaela shiffrin  |  skiing


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