CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (Reuters) – Mikaela Shiffrin wrapped up her Alpine ski world championships on Saturday with a fourth medal from four races and a hunger to go faster.
The American was aiming for an unprecedented fifth successive slalom title but had to settle for bronze with Austrian Katharina Liensberger fastest on both runs and Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova taking the silver.
Shiffrin still carries away from the slopes of Cortina d’Ampezzo a bigger haul than any other woman and a record tally for a U.S. skier of 11 medals from 13 starts in five world championships.
The next big opportunity will be the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, where the 25-year-old can hope to add to the two golds and a silver from Sochi and Pyeongchang in 2014 and 2018.
“At this point in my career, there’s not a lot of things left to accomplish on paper but I still feel motivated to ski faster and especially on days like today, when I see the level of skiing that’s possible,” she said.
“I want to go training tomorrow,” she joked. “It’s like ‘let’s keep pushing’.
“Maybe not tomorrow, but that’s the level that got all of us here, that’s the motivation, and watching some of the skiing today, it was inspirational.”
Shiffrin has had a standout two weeks, not as golden as Are 2019 where she won the slalom and super-G and took bronze in giant slalom but still truly impressive considering recent events.
Last week’s weather-delayed super-G was her first start in the discipline for 382 days, after taking time out following the death of her father and then injury, but she was still good enough for bronze.
She then won the Combined and took silver in giant slalom.
Saturday’s first run was below expectations but, with Liensberger in the form of her life as the 23-year-old rising star secured her second gold and third medal of the championships, there was only so much Shiffrin could do.
“I’m really proud of so much of the skiing that I did. Today, the first run, I felt a little bit disappointed,” said the American.
“I don’t think I could’ve done something that would change the colour of the medal today but I could’ve done some better skiing that would’ve felt better.”
The slalom was the end of the women’s programme, with Liensberger joining Swiss speed queen Lara Gut-Behrami as the only individual double gold medallists.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Clare Fallon)