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Shiffrin Ends the World Cup Season Without a Second Globe, But With Some Excellent Skiing

In the final race of the 2022 season, France's own Tessa Worley claimed her second World Cup GS title.

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The 2022 World Cup season is officially over.

Mikaela Shiffrin had already clinched ski racing’s biggest prize earlier in the week—securing the Overall crystal globe with a second-place finish in the final super-G of the season—but still had her sights set on the giant slalom title heading into Sunday’s final race.

Related: It’s official—Shiffrin is crowned 2022 Overall World Cup Champion

Shiffrin sat third in the GS standings, 51 points behind current leader Sara Hector from Sweden and 46 points behind France’s Tessa Worley in second. Shiffrin would need at least a podium to have a shot at the title.

The first run was all Shiffrin as the American superstar danced through the morning’s set with the kind of power and grace not seen from her in GS in some time. The 27-year-old ultimately held a massive 0.82 second lead over the rest of the field heading into run two.

“Whatever happens with the day, I can be happy because that skiing felt good,” said Shiffrin between runs. “It’s been quite a long time since I actually skied like that in a GS, maybe since [winning in] Courchevel.”

As the sun beat down on the French Alps, the second run began with soft (for the World Cup) conditions. That opened the door for athletes willing to take risks and make big jumps up the standings. One of those athletes was France’s own, Tessa Worley.

Watch: Tessa Worley’s Globe-winning GS run

Worley also entered Sunday’s race with a good shot at the title and told French media that she thought the GS globe had slipped away from her after the first run, where she sat in eighth place, 1.60 seconds off of Shiffrin’s pace. Worley charged the second run in front of the home crowd and crossed the finish with a slim lead. All she could do then was wait.

Shiffrin struggled with her second run, crossing the line with the slowest second run time and ultimately finishing in seventh place. Worley ended up in fourth, good enough to capture the GS crystal globe on home snow. Hector, the 2022 Olympic gold medalist in the event and leader in the World Cup rankings heading into the final, lost her grip on the globe after finishing 14th.

Womens-2022-World-Cup-GS
Mikaela Shiffrin finished third in the 2022 World Cup giant slalom standings, behind Sweden’s Sara Hector in second and winner Tessa Worley. Michel Cottin/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

“It’s a moment in France, in front of my audience, that an athlete dreams of,” Worley said. “There is a very important sentimental, emotional side today. It’s a goal that I had personally, but also with all the staff. I feel their emotion, how happy they are, they also sacrificed a lot of things to make it work.”

Sunday’s race was ultimately won by Italy’s Federica Brignone. The Italian had yet to win in GS this season and was happy to end her winter on a high note.

“I only had this chance so I gave it my all,” she said. “I felt good, I had been skiing well for a while. I closed the season in the best way by doing everything I could.”

Brignone was joined on the podium by another Italian, Marta Bassino, in second place. Slovakian star Petra Vlhova finished in third.

Although the GS title slipped through her fingers, Shiffrin still had plenty to be proud of after taking home her fourth Overall title–matching the American record set by Lindsey Vonn in 2012 – and navigating a rollercoaster season with bitter disappointment at the Beijing Olympics.

“It’s a little bit hard to compare [all my titles],” she reflected. “It’s always special, but this season has been one of the most confusing seasons I ever did. I felt motivation, I felt triumph and really good moments, but I also had some tough moments … different things that were difficult to deal with and carry through the Olympics and carry right through right up until now.”

Although the World Cup season has come to a close, athletes still have their respective national championship races in the coming weeks. Racers will also begin equipment testing and training for next season before closing out the 2022 winter for good later this spring.