As World Cup resumes, the overall title is Mikaela Shiffrin’s to lose |

As World Cup resumes, the overall title is Mikaela Shiffrin’s to lose

At 21, EagleVail racer can become youngest overall winner since 2003

The Denver Post
ZAGREB, CROATIA - JANUARY 03: Mikaela Shiffrin of USA in action during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom on January 03, 2017 in Zagreb, Croatia
Christopher Pallot, Agence Zoom/Getty Images

The World Cup finals in Aspen next month are shaping up as more of a coronation than a competition for EagleVail’s Mikaela Shiffrin in her historic pursuit of the World Cup overall title. Shiffrin is bidding to become the youngest overall winner since Janica Kostelic in 2003, and it’s hard to foresee a scenario that would deprive her as long as she remains healthy.

As the World Cup resumes Friday following a hiatus for the biennial world championships, Switzerland’s Lara Gut no longer will be Shiffrin’s closest pursuer. Gut, the defending overall champion, was only 180 points behind Shiffrin when she suffered a season-ending knee injury at the world championships. Even though her absence increases the likelihood that Shiffrin will claim the most prestigious title in skiing, Shiffrin will miss Gut.

“For sure, it’s a really, really big disappointment,” Shiffrin said at a news conference last week. “I’m wishing her the very best. The overall, it’s supposed to be a fight. When you remember Anna Feininger and Tina Maze fighting for it (2015), that was so exciting. Nerve-racking for them, but for all of us it was really fun to watch.”

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