Mikaela Shiffrin reveals plans for Beijing 2022 as World Cup history beckons 

The skiing legend has detailed her initial competition plans for Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 ahead of this weekend's World Cup contest in Finland, where Shiffrin will have the opportunity to make history yet again.

By William Imbo
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Mikaela Shiffrin, at just 26 years old, is already one of the most successful athletes in Alpine skiing history.

The American has won numerous medals and earned plenty of accolades over the course of her 10-year career, and this weekend (20 November) she will have the opportunity to set another record for most World Cup wins in a single discipline when she competes in back-to-back slalom races in Levi, Finland.

Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA competes in the 2nd run of the Womens Giant Slalom at Rettenbachferner during the Audi FIS Ski World Cup 2021/22 on October 23, 2021 in Soelden, Austria
Picture by getty images Germany +491728296845 (getty images Germany +491728296845 (Photographer) - [None] (getty images Germany +491728296845 (getty images Germany +491728296845 (Photographer) - [None] (Photographer) - [None] (Editor), ASCII, 95 components, 95 b

Shiffrin set to make history... again

Heading into this weekend's World Cup contest in Finland, Shiffrin - a two-time Olympic gold medallist, four-time slalom world champion and three-time Overall World Cup champion - is sitting in second position in the Overall rankings with 100 points after winning the opening giant slalom race of the 2021/22 FIS World Cup season in Soelden, Austria, four weeks ago.

She trails Andreja Slokar by 18 points after the Slovenian won the parallel race; Shiffrin did not compete in the event.

However, two slalom races this weekend presents Shiffrin with the perfect opportunity to move into first place - and make history in the process.

Shiffrin has won 45 of her 70 career World Cups in slalom, giving her the record for most wins in a single discipline by a female skier (the previous record held by Lindsey Vonn, who tallied 43 wins in downhill). She is just one win away from equalling the record set by Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark, who picked up 46 giant slalom wins in the 1970s and 80s.

Ingemar Stenmark
Picture by 2019 Getty Images

Considering Shiffrin has won the most World Cup slalom races of any skier in history (not to mention being the first Alpine skier to win the world championship in the same discipline (slalom) at four consecutive championships), it's a safe bet that we will see the American break (or at least equal) Stenmark's record in Finland.

Yet even if Shiffrin doesn't finish atop the podium in Levi, she'll have another opportunity to pick up another slalom win at the next World Cup event in Killington, where races will be held in giant slalom (27 November) and slalom (28 November).

Preparing for Beijing 2022

While Shiffrin is in the midst of trying to win her seventh slalom World Cup title, the triple Olympic medallist is also looking ahead to the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and discussed her initial plans for the competition during a press conference ahead of the World Cup weekend in Levi.

"The plan is to compete in every event I qualify for," Shiffrin said. "I'm planning to race everything, but we'll know a lot more closer to the Games. When I went to South Korea (for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics), I competed in the giant slalom race while still expecting to compete in everything.

"But after the slalom competition, I realised just how exhausting the previous six days had been. At that point I had to make a decision; [we decided] it wouldn't have been safe to race the Super-G or slalom at that point. So we needed to regroup and that's when we changed the program, and it could be a very similar thing in China.

"If there are schedule changes I'm hoping to be able to roll with the punches without exerting as much energy. I went through the experience before, but that was four years ago. It's easy to say but it's a lot harder to do when you're there and you're stressed and you feel the pressure and you want to do everything, and the more things that don't go to plan the more stressed and tired you become.

"So I'm doing everything I can to relax and try to be optimistic. But when the time comes we will have to be realistic."

The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games open on 4 February 2022, with the Alpine skiing competition scheduled to take place from 6 - 19 February.

Read more about the Alpine competition at Beijing 2022 here.

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