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Mikaela Shiffrin becomes first American to win six skiing titles

Mikaela Shiffrin holds up the gold medal on a ribbon around her neck.
Mikaela Shiffrin won gold in the women’s combined at the skiing world championships Monday in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
(Giovanni Auletta / Associated Press)

Temperatures had dropped precipitously overnight, turning the slalom course at the world championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, into a sheet of ice. Just right for Mikaela Shiffrin.

With one skier after another veering out of control, the star of the U.S. team stayed in control and raced to victory in a combined event, setting an American record with the sixth world title of her career.

Shiffrin surpassed two retired teammates with the win in the super-G-slalom combined. Six golds are one better than Ted Ligety, and nine medals of any color at the world championships pushed her past Lindsey Vonn.

“It was a tough slalom,” she told reporters. “So I’m like pretty happy I got down with a really good run.”

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It has been 60 years since the entire U.S figure skating team died in a plane crash in Belgium. For those who knew the skaters best, the loss remains vivid.

This was the first combined gold for Shiffrin, who had won the slalom, giant slalom and super-G at previous world championships.

The 25-year-old Colorado native — who trained in her youth on Vermont’s icy slopes — has two more chances to add to her career total with the giant slalom and slalom races scheduled for this week.

“For sure the records are really nice,” Shiffrin said on the U.S. ski team website. “It means something, but I don’t really know what to say about it.”


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