How good is skier Michaela Shiffrin? “I think she’s maybe the best ski racer I’ve ever seen, male or female,” two-time World Cup champion Bode Miller told reporters. Over the weekend the 22-year old claimed her 39th and 40th World Cup wins. The time it took for Shiffrin to reach her 39th win compared to superstar Lindsay Vonn was reported by the Boston Globe:
By comparison, Vonn required 256 races to get to that total in her 11th World Cup season. Through 120 races, Vonn had just four wins. At Shiffrin’s pace, she would match Vonn’s 78 wins by her 240th race — a point at which Vonn had fewer victories (33) than Shiffrin already possesses.
Meanwhile, there are signs that Shiffrin’s best days are to come. She’s won eight of the 15 World Cup events she’s entered this season, a 53 percent winning rate that marks the seventh straight in which her percentage has gone up. She’s won a startling 33 percent of her career events — a remarkable figure given that Vonn has become the sport’s standard for excellence by winning roughly one out of every five races she’s entered.
If Shiffrin can sustain what she’s done in the early stages of her career — or even, to the horror of her competitors, improve upon it as Vonn did in her late 20s — she could not merely catch Vonn but zoom past her. Already, the skiing world has been trying to make sense of what Shiffrin has done — and what might remain on the horizon.
“She’s been pretty amazing to watch to see how quickly she started winning races and then how quickly she started dominating, and hasn’t let up at all since,” US men’s team member Ted Ligety noted in September. “Her rise has been pretty amazing.”
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