If Mikaela Shiffrin was going to become the greatest women’s slalom skier of all time, it wasn’t going to be easy.
The 23-year-old Colorado native needed a strong second run to win at Semmering, Austria, on Saturday, setting a record with the 36th World Cup victory of her career.
“I had a couple of mistakes, a couple moments where I was fighting for my life,” she said on the U.S. Ski and Snowboard website. “But it was a good fight.”
Dominating the World Cup this season, Shiffrin also became the first skier — man or woman — to win 15 races in a single calendar year. As for the career mark, she surpassed the total of her childhood hero, Marlies Schild.
“Marlies for me is always going to be the best,” she said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without being able to watch her.”
Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark holds the men’s record for World Cup slalom victories with 40.