American skier Mikaela Shiffrin won a record 83rd World Cup race Tuesday.
Shiffrin’s giant slalom victory broke a tie on the all-time women’s list with former American teammate Lindsey Vonn, who retired four years ago when injuries cut her career short.
“It might take me a little bit to figure out what to say,” Shiffrin said. “I don’t know what to say right now.”
Shiffrin now needs only three more wins to match Ingemark Stenmark’s overall mark — between men and women — of 86 victories.
Stenmark competed in the 1970s and 80s.
Shiffrin led from start to finish at the Kronplatz resort in the Italian Dolomites, crossing 0.45 seconds ahead of world champion Lara Gut-Behrami and 1.43 ahead of home favorite and former overall champion Federica Brignone after also posting the fastest first run.
Shiffrin seemed exhausted and relieved immediately after finishing, bending over and resting her head on her poles and then biting her lips before going over to embrace Gut-Behrami and Brignone.
Brignone told Shiffrin, “Congrats,” and Shiffrin responded, “Oh my god.”
It was Shiffrin’s ninth win of the season.
What’s more is that Shiffrin is still only 27. Vonn was 33 when she won her last World Cup event and Stenmark was 32.
“Reaching this milestone is an incredible accomplishment, one that I hope Mikaela is able to savor,” Vonn said in a statement after her record was broken. “Picabo Street inspired me to become an Olympian and I remember vividly how much of an impact she made on me. Throughout my career I always tried to be the role model for kids that Picabo was for me, and now it is Mikaela’s turn to carry that torch.”
Hours before breaking the record, Shiffrin posted on Twitter that she had been happy with her skiing and track was a “joy to ski.”
The record also comes nearly a year after Shiffrin didn’t win a medal in six events at the Beijing Olympics after entering amid big expectations.
Shiffrin can quickly add to her record total in another giant slalom at Kronplatz on Wednesday. Then she has two slaloms – her best event, having accounted for 51 of her 83 victories – in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic, next weekend. That was where Shiffrin made her World Cup debut as a 15-year-old in March 2011.
After a short break, Shiffrin will then again be a multi-medal threat at the world championships in Courchevel and Meribel, France, which start on Feb. 6.
Shiffrin now has one more win than Vonn and 21 more wins than the next woman on the all-time list, Annemarie Moser-Pröll of Austria at 62.
60 Minutes Sports met Shiffrin in 2014, a month before she won her first gold medal in Sochi. Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi traveled to the Burke Mountain Academy in East Burke, Vermont, the ski school that made Shiffrin the racer she is today.