Mikaela Shiffrin, America's newest teen skiing sensation who is aiming for a gold medal next month at the Sochi Winter Olympics, again proved her mettle by winning a World Cup slalom event in rough weather Sunday in Bormio, Italy.
The 18-year-old from Vail, Colo., is the reigning world champion in the slalom. She also won the discipline on the World Cup circuit last season.
In Bormio, with a mixture of snow high on the mountain and rain near the bottom of the run early and then snowy on the second, Shiffrin edged Sweden's Maria Pietilae-Holmner by 0.13 of a second over the two runs. France's Nastasia Noens finished third, 0.62 behind Shiffrin, who now leads the World Cup slalom standings by a solid 62 points with four races left after Austria's Marlies Schild finished sixth.
"It's always a big confidence booster to have good skiing in different conditions," Shiffrin said after her sixth career World Cup victory. "I never wanted to be a racer who could only win on hard snow or just soft snow, or just a steep pitch or just a flat. I want to be really good in all-around conditions and getting a win today has given me a lot of confidence that I can ski out of ruts in the second run."
Shiffrin told reporters afterward that she is gaining confidence after finishing 12th and second in her previous two slalom events.
"I'm very excited with how my season is going right now, and I think I can do better, too," she said.
"It's been a fight all season and I feel like, if I'm not perfectly ready, then the win goes to somebody else. So I was really trying to prepare myself and be ready to go today no matter what the conditions or the visibility."