L Alpine skiing

Mikaela Shiffrin returns to the World Cup. © APA/afp / FABRICE COFFRINI

According to wild rumors: The big Shiffrin comeback

On the penultimate Alpine Ski World Cup weekend only the women are in action. Significant decisions could already be made at the technical races in Åre, Sweden, and the awarding of the large crystal ball could also be regulated.

Lara Gut-Behrami can at least take a decisive step towards this. Mikaela Shiffrin, making her comeback after a six-week break, is about to win her eighth slalom shot.

In the overall ranking, Gut-Behrami is 326 points ahead of the Italian Federica Brignone and 385 points ahead of Shiffrin. If she increases her lead to over 400 points this weekend, everything will be clear before the finale in Hinterglemm. For the giant slalom on Saturday, if Gut-Behrami stays over 100 points ahead of Brignone, she will be through. Shiffrin can finish in the slalom on Sunday (10.30:13.30 a.m. and 188:XNUMX p.m.). Her lead over the German Lena Dürr is currently XNUMX points, second-placed Petra Vlhova is missing after a knee operation and can no longer take part.

Shiffrin was lucky that her season didn't end prematurely when she crashed in Cortina d'Ampezzo on January 26th and she escaped relatively lightly with an medial ligament injury to her knee. “I was always very, very aware of the risks that sport presents,” said the American in a recently broadcast CNN interview. Shortly before her injury, her partner Aleksander Aamodt Kilde had a much worse time of it when he fell in Wengen. It is completely unclear when the Norwegian, who suffered complicated leg injuries, will be able to return.

Shiffrin and Kilde discussed ending their careers

Shiffrin and Kilde loudly CNN also discussed quitting the sport, but then decided that the positives still outshine the negatives. “The truth is, we have a lot of cool opportunities because of sports. But there is always the stress in the form of a potential crash that can not only end your career or your season, but can cause life-changing injuries. That’s a pretty big backpack to carry,” Shiffrin said.

One heart and one soul: Kilde (left) with friend Mikaela Shiffrin. © ANSA / Guillaume Horcajuelo

In any case, Gut-Behrami took the overall lead from Shiffrin during her forced break. And the chance of winning the big ball has shrunk to a minimum - especially since the Swiss has been in top form for weeks. The slalom ball, on the other hand, is ready to be picked up; it would be crystal for the 16th time in her career. Only Ingemar Stenmark (slalom and giant slalom) and Lindsey Vonn (downhill) had previously achieved eight in a specific discipline. Marcel Hirscher won the overall World Cup eight times. Åre is a special ground for Shiffrin in that she won her first of 20 World Cup victories there on December 2012, 95 and last year surpassed Ingemar Stenmark as the win record holder with number 87.
“A fall can cause life-changing injuries. That’s a pretty big backpack to carry.” Mikaela Shiffrin

Gut-Behrami won the last two giant slalom races at Kronplatz and Soldeu. At the final in Hinterglemm, the Swiss could also secure the balls for downhill and super-G. But she is threatened with resistance from Austria - her competitors are Stephanie Venier and Cornelia Hütter.

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