The women of World Cup
The Aspen Times
Who are the women of the World Cup?
Who are these giant slalom and slalom skiers, besides the best in the world?
And who among them will prevail on Aspen Mountain during the 2014 Winternational World Cup races this weekend?
The giant slalom leads the Winternational race schedule Saturday, with the first run at 10 a.m. and the second run at 1 p.m. on the east side of Aspen Mountain.
The slalom will follow Sunday, with runs also at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Here are a few of the top skiers to watch for, headlined by Eagle-Vail’s Mikaela Shiffrin.
Olympic gold medalist. World Cup slalom overall champion — twice. Teenager.
Mikaela Shiffrin, the wise-beyond-her-years 19-year-old from Eagle-Vail, hit the World Cup gates and hasn’t looked back. She won the World Cup slalom title as a 17-year-old in 2012-13 — the first American World Cup slalom champion since Tamara McKinney in 1983-84.
One year later, Shiffrin won five races and won the World Cup slalom crown for the second consecutive year.
She later added a historic Olympic gold medal at Sochi, Russia, along with a World Championship gold medal, to her resume. She’s the youngest American woman to win at the World Championships, and she’s the youngest skier in history to win Olympic slalom gold.
Shiffrin has nine World Cup slalom victories coming into the Aspen races, matching the career slalom wins of McKinney and Phil Mahre.
She opened the current season with a World Cup giant slalom victory in Soelden, Austria, when she finished in a first-place tie with Anna Fenninger, of Austria, the reigning overall World Cup champion.
Tamara McKinney, for the record, won a World Cup giant slalom in Aspen in the spring of 1981.
Olympic medalist. World Cup super-G champion.
The 23-year-old, all-around skier from Switzerland was the World Cup super-G champion last season.
She won the World Cup last season in Soelden and went on to finish ninth in Olympic GS. She made her World Cup debut at age 16.
Four Olympic medals. Five World Championship medals. Surfer.
Versatile veteran and all-around four-event racer Mancuso has won more major championship medals than any American ski racer.
The Californian hit her first World Cup gate at age 16, raced in the Olympics at 17 and has been winning ever since.
Mancuso, 30, finished third in the 2011 Winternational giant slalom in Aspen. Viktoria Rebensburg, of Germany, won that GS.
Two Olympic gold medals. Overall World Cup champion. Rapper.
The Slovenian sensation won the giant slalom the last time the World Cup came to Aspen in 2012.
Maze used the Aspen victory to propel her to the 2012-13 World Cup overall title along with the giant slalom World Cup crown.
A free spirit who pitched her new rap album when she was here two years ago, Maze has won 22 World Cup races.
Maze, 31, also dazzled in the spotlight of the Winter Olympics, winning gold medals in giant slalom and downhill in Sochi.
Overall World Cup champion. Olympic gold medal. Olympic silver medal.
The Austrian superstar, 25, enjoyed an unprecedented season last year, winning the overall World Cup title along with an Olympic gold medal in the super-G. Fenninger, who is from the village of Adnet in Salzburg, also won a silver medal in the Olympic GS in Sochi. After winning four giant slaloms last year, Fenninger started the new season with a GS victory when she tied Shiffrin.
Olympic medalist. Aspen champion.
The Austrian, who left a lasting impression on Aspen Mountain two years ago, is back for more.
In 2012, Zettel won the World Cup slalom in Aspen, and she was the silver queen with a second place in the giant slalom. Zettel, 28, also won a bronze medal in slalom at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. She has competed in three different Olympic Games — 2006, 2010 and 2014. She’s in her 11th season on the World Cup tour.
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