(CNN)She won a reindeer and named it Ingemar.
Mikaela Shiffrin’s unusual prize was for winning a World Cup slalom race in Levi, Finland Saturday, but as the 41st slalom title of her glittering career it took her past the record of Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark in skiing’s most technical discipline.
Nice to meet you, Ingemar 💛 • • •
I was thinking about this name yesterday after the race when someone mentioned the record, but there were a couple things to sort through before announcing it. First was to ask for Ingemar’s permission of course! (Cont. in comments⤵️) pic.twitter.com/UQ66fjFZfV
— Mikaela Shiffrin (@MikaelaShiffrin) November 24, 2019 The American, who has become the standout star in the sport, said the name she gave to the reindeer — her fourth from Levi — was a tribute to one of the “greatest skiers ever.”
“There were a couple of things to sort out before announcing it. First was to ask for Ingemar’s permission of course,” the 24-year-old American wrote in a series of Twitter posts. “And now I have this record to my name — a milestone that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would achieve when I was younger — but all I could think was, Ingemar was better. I don’t see it as ‘breaking his record,’ I am just continuing it.Read More”So even though the idea of naming my reindeer after Ingemar was born from the talk of ‘breaking’ the record, in the end that is not why I chose to do it. It is simply a tribute to one of absolute greatest ski racers to ever lived.”But I also wanted to take a quiet moment to think about the day and what this race meant to me. The truth is, it did not feel like a record-breaking day for me. It felt like a day. A race day. A wonderful slalom race day, albeit a little foggy.”READ: Mikaela Shiffrin on learning to ignore social media ‘haters’READ: Marcel Hirscher: Ski racing’s greatest of all time?
Photos: Shiffrin's career so farAmerican skier Mikaela Shiffrin is arguably the most dominant athlete in sport right now. The 24-year-old has taken skiing by storm, winning 17 World Cup races across four of the six disciplines last season to take her overall tally to 60 victories. Here’s a look back at her short but sweet career so far. Hide Caption 1 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so far2011 – Shiffrin grew up skiing from an early age thanks to parents who were both competitive college skiers. She rose quickly through the junior ranks and joined the World Cup circuit two days before her 16th birthday in 2011. Hide Caption 2 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so far2011 – The American (right) secured her first World Cup medal in December 2011, winning a bronze in the slalom. Her potential didn’t go unnoticed as she was named rookie of the year.Hide Caption 3 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so far2012 – Shiffrin lived up to her hype during the following season, winning her first World Cup slalom event in Lienz, Austria.Hide Caption 4 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so far2013 – The youngster continued her good form, winning a further three World Cup slalom races that season. She also struck slalom gold at the 2013 World Championships in Schladming, Austria. Hide Caption 5 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so far2013 – She ended a remarkable season with a first World Cup slalom crown, which she defended the following year. Hide Caption 6 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so far2014 – As world champion, the pressure was on the 18-year-old to perform at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. She didn’t disappoint. Shiffrin became the youngest ever Olympic slalom champion and the first American to win the title in 42 years.Hide Caption 7 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so far2015 – Following her Olympic success, the American won her third straight World Cup slalom crown in 2015. She also defended her slalom title at the 2015 World Championships.Hide Caption 8 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so far2016 – A knee injury stalled her career the following season and she had to settle for fourth in the slalom standings.Hide Caption 9 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so far2017 – Shiffrin was back to her best in 2017, though, winning a fifth slalom World Cup title and adding a third World Championship gold. She also won her first overall World Cup title. Hide Caption 10 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so far2018 – As her reputation grew, so did her popularity and all eyes were on Shiffrin to perform at the 2018 Winter Olympics. She was affected by the weather-hit schedule and despite winning gold in the giant slalom and silver in the combined she missed out completely in slalom. But she won the World Cup overall and slalom titles again at the end of the season to confirm her status as America’s new superstar. Hide Caption 11 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so farShiffrin has been on fire during the 2018-19 season and has made waves beyond ski racing for her level of consistency and domination. She has climbed to fifth on the list off all-time most successful ski racers, and third woman behind Lindsey Vonn and Annemarie Moser-Proll. Hide Caption 12 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so farAt the 2019 FIS World Championships in Are, Sweden she struck in the opening super-G race to score her fourth world title. Hide Caption 13 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so farAnd she clinched a remarkable fourth straight slalom world title — a streak stretching back to 2013 — to go with a bronze in the giant slalom in Sweden.Hide Caption 14 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so farFollowing the World Championships, Shiffrin won a World Cup slalom event in Stockholm to score a record-equaling 14th title of the season. She also wrapped up a third straight season slalom crown and sixth in seven years. She clinched a third straight overall crown when racing was canceled in Sochi. Hide Caption 15 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so farSoon after she pushed the record to 15 wins – unprecedented for men or women — with a slalom victory (her 58th) in the Czech Republic.Hide Caption 16 of 17
Photos: Shiffrin's career so farAt the World Cup finals in Soldeu, Andorra in March, Shiffrin wrapped up a third Crystal Globe of 2019 with a first season title in the super-G.Hide Caption 17 of 17
Shiffrin’s win in Finland, in the second event of the 2019-2020 season, takes her to a career tally of 61 World Cup victories, one behind Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Proell, who is second on the women’s list behind the 82 of Lindsey Vonn.American Vonn finally succumbed to the physical toll of a spectacular career and retired last season still four wins short of Stenmark’s overall record, which was set between 1974 and 1989. Austrian Marcel Hirscher, who also retired in the summer, sits second on the all-time list with 67 wins.
Shiffrin clinched 17 races in a remarkable season last winter to secure a third straight World Cup overall crown.She also won a third consecutive slalom title and sixth in seven years as she confirmed her status as skiing’s brightest star.