The American will receive three Crystal Globes in Soldeu right after becoming the best alpine ski athlete in the world
After beating the record for the number of wins in alpine ski World Cup races in Åre this weekend, totalling 87 wins, the American Mikaela Shiffrin landed in Andorra to close the 2023 season. On Sunday, the skier will receive the Overall 2023 Crystal Globe and those for the Slalom and Giant Slalom disciplines in Soldeu, in a ceremony that will mark the climax of an extraordinary season.
The organisers of the Andorra World Cup Finals 2023 were able to speak with her on a day coinciding with her 28th birthday, on Monday, 13th March, and Mikaela Shiffrin was still in disbelief at having reached this goal: "I still see number 87 everywhere and people ask me when I am going to beat that figure. It feels really strange to me. It is a milestone that will take me a lot of getting used to, and maybe I will never get used to it." In the Grandvalira ski area, the American will compete in races on the 16th on the Àliga course in the Super-G, and on the 18th and 19th on the Avet course in Slalom and Giant Slalom, so the possibility remains for her to finish the season on 90 wins, if she manages to win all three competitions.
The fact that she comes to Andorra with titles already secured does not take the pressure off her, as she has acknowledged that, "I will still compete with added nerves, because now I also have to show that I am one of the fastest skiers in the world." However, the sportswoman, after 13 seasons competing on the World Cup circuit, believes that Finals always have a "less stressful atmosphere, although when it comes to racing, I always feel the nerves to some degree. The end of the season and the last races are perhaps a little less wild, and we enjoy them more."
Mikaela Shiffrin also spoken modestly about reaching her 17 podiums at Olympic Games and World Championships, assuring us that "I'm not sure that there's anything left to achieve, as I do not think I can break any more records, which means I now need to set realistic expectations for myself and then move on."
She remembers special moments she experienced in Soldeu in the Grandvalira ski area at the 2019 Finals, and recognises that after so many stops along the way, this season has been very similar to the one she had four years ago. "It was very positive to hear all the people who came to support me, as well as the warmth of all those around the event. It's very strange because I am really feeling the same again this time, it's like a déjà-vu." In addition, when it comes to the Avet and the Àliga courses she confessed that "it is an incredible mountain, no doubt, a great place to host the Finals," she remarked. Finally, she says she is keen to return to the United States, after about half a year of competition far from her home.