American skiing prodigy Mikaela Shiffrin nabbed her first World Cup win on Thursday, edging out favorite Frida Hansdotter on her home turf in Are, Sweden. The 17-year-old blitzed the night slalom with a combined time of 1 minute, 45.36 seconds, 0.29 seconds faster than Hansdotter, who took second. Lindsey Vonn is currently on a break from the World Cup to recover from recent illness and did not race.
“For her age, she’s the best I’ve seen,” says Burke Mountain headmaster Kirk Dwyer, who has mentored hundreds of racers, including Daron Rahlves, Jeremy Nobis, and A. J. Kitt. “We’ve had kids who are better natural athletes, but a lot of them stop working. Even if Mikaela is winning, and you tell her she could work a little harder, she will. She doesn’t want to know how great she is. She wants to know how she can improve.”