Exactly 12 years after she began racing on the World Cup, Mikaela Shiffrin of the Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team won her 87th World Cup in the Åre, Sweden slalom on March 11, 2023, breaking the tie of 86 wins set by Ingemar Stenmark in 1989 to become the winningest alpine skier in history.
For the second day in a row, Shiffrin dominated the Swedish course to take her second win in two days and officially break the record. She held the lead in the first run by .69 seconds and skied an aggressive and smart run second run to win the race by .94 seconds. As she crossed the finish line, she took a moment to let her historic win soak in, and then she saw her brother Taylor and sister-in-law Kristi, who surprised Shiffrin by flying in from the U.S. to celebrate with her, and swept her up in a hug.
“I can’t put a name with the numbers,” said Shiffrin. “I don’t know how to define that. When you have these special moments like being on the podium with Paula Moltzan in Semmering, seeing my brother and Kristi and my mom in the finish today—that’s what makes it memorable. I’m so proud of the skiing I did both runs today and so proud of the team this whole season. Every step of the way, being strong and focused and positive and having the right goals and helping me manage my own focus and distractions. It’s been incredible. It’s been incredible to be part of that. I’m just really thankful.”
Shiffrin won her first World Cup at the same venue in Åre, Sweden in 2012 and has been on a streak since then, winning 87 Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cups throughout her 12 years on the circuit. Her dominance has been unmatched, winning 35% of the races she starts and podiuming in nearly 60%. The win places her securely in the history books and makes her the greatest of all time in the sport of alpine ski racing.
“It’s been hard to describe,” said Shiffrin of her record. “It’s not over yet, which is even more ridiculous! I still had the same feeling at the start of this run that I have every race—I shouldn’t feel pressure, but somehow I feel something in my heartbeat. That’s the anticipation we want to feel as ski racers and I have it—it’s stronger than ever. I’m just getting started.”
Shiffrin tied the World Cup wins record on March 10 in Are, Sweden with 86 wins, which had been held by Sweden’s Stenmark for 34 years. Shiffrin also tied and then broke Lindsey Vonn’s women’s record of 82 wins in January in Kronplatz, Italy. She has been unstoppable this season, winning 13 races so far, securing three World Championship medals in slalom, giant slalom and super-G and clinching the slalom, giant slalom and overall crystal globe for the 2022-23 season.
Shiffrin’s 87th win is just 12 years after she started her first race on the World Cup in 2011 when she was only 15. She won her first World Cup nine months later in December 2012, becoming the second-youngest American to win an alpine World Cup. Since then, she has won three Olympic medals—including two golds—and 14 World Championship medals—the record for World Championships medals in the modern era—and has 15 crystal globes, including the three that she will receive at World Cup Finals.
Out of her 87 wins, 53 of them are slalom wins, the most of any skier, man or woman, in one discipline. But while she started off as a slalom specialist, she quickly expanded her repertoire to win a race in each of the World Cup’s six disciplines and became the first skier in history to do so: slalom (53), giant slalom (20), super-G (5), downhill (3), combined (1) and parallel (5). She holds the record for the most slalom wins and is tied for a women’s record for the most giant slalom World Cup victories.
“It is truly magnificent to be able to watch Mikaela Shiffrin write her name into history,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President & CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. “She is the definition of a champion, both inside and out, and the Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team couldn’t be happier to celebrate this massive achievement with her. We can’t wait to watch Mikaela win even more in the future!”
Shiffrin competed while wearing Oakley’s Flight Deck Mikaela Shiffrin Signature Series Snow Goggles, with Prizm Torch lenses for enhanced details and ultra-precise colour tuning.
To mark the milestone, Oakley released a limited-edition Spindrift customized to celebrate Mikaela’s illustrious career. Inspired by women in motion and their busy lifestyles, Spindrift is a classic round shape with optimized retention built into the frame. The frame features 24K Gold lenses with Shiffrin’s mantra, “A.B.F.T.T.B.” (“Always Be Faster Than The Boys”), printed on the left temple. Each frame is compatible with Oakley Authentic Prescription lenses that come laser-etched with Shiffrin’s signature etched into the lenses and a custom microbag.
“Achieving this milestone makes all the blood, sweat and tears I’ve poured into this sport worth it, and it is so special to have my own signature series Oakley sunglass to mark the occasion,” said Shiffrin. “While this record focuses on the wins, the lessons I’ve learned from losses are just as valuable. I think that ideal is an important one to learn, no matter your walk of life. I want to thank everyone who’s been part of my journey to this point, from family and friends to competitors and of course, the fans. You all are the reason why I’m standing here today and the reason why I’ll be back at it tomorrow.”
Shiffrin’s 87 World Cup gold medals were all won wearing Reusch gloves. A spokesperson for Reusch, said: “Shiffrin still has a long and bright career ahead of her, considering she just turned 28! Ingemar Stenmark raced in World Cups until he was 33, while Lindsey Vonn competed until she was 32. Mikaela will probably keep setting the bar higher and higher, giving any athlete who comes after her a very hard time. But then again, what else should we expect from a champion like her?
“We could not be prouder of Queen Mikaela, and we wish her a happy birthday and good luck in whatever the future holds for her!”
The trailblazing adidas TERREX athlete was also congratulated by the company.
“At adidas, we believe that through sport we have the power to change lives and Mikaela Shiffrin is the personification of that.” says Carla Murphy, Global General Manager, adidas TERREX. “From raising awareness of the climate crisis and mental health issues, to addressing being on her period whilst competing – all while winning more World Cup races than anyone before her – Mikaela is more than a sporting inspiration for athletes and fans around the world, she is an inspiration for so many more, every day challenging the norms and expectations of what’s possible. We are honoured to support and partner with Mikaela on this journey.”
Shiffrin and members of the Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team who have finished in the top 25 of a discipline will now head to World Cup Finals in Soldeu, Andorra next to wrap up the season.
Header image: Mikaela Shiffrin claims 87th victory for most World Cup. Credit: Getty Images