The FIS Ski World Cup gets is back in action on Saturday and Sunday with a doubleheader of women’s slalom, highlighted by the return of Burke Mountain Academy alumna Mikaela Shiffrin.
The last time Shiffrin competed was on Jan. 26, when she took first in the World Cup super-G race in Bansko, Bulgaria. That weekend she also had a first and fourth place finish in the downhill.
Shiffrin will kick off the competition on the Finnish Lapland of Levi course in Finland, as she was given No. 1 during the bib draw for the slalom opener, according to the FIS starting list.
Shiffrin returns to the slopes with 66 career World Cup wins, which is one shy of Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, who is third on the all-time Alpine skiing win list.
Shiffrin finished second in the World Cup standings last season, even after cutting her season short to deal with the passing of her father in February.
Shiffrin’s resume at age 25 reads better than most that have ever competed. She’s a 2-time Olympic champion and 5-time World Champion, along with being the winningest slalom skier of all-time.
Four other U.S. skiers are set to join Shiffrin on the slopes this weekend in Finland.
Fellow Burke alumna Nina O’Brien, who attends Dartmouth College, is one of them.
Most recently, O’Brien finished second in the slalom and first in the giant slalom at the National Championships in Solda, Italy.
O’Brien has a handful of National Championship and Nor-Am Cup wins to her name in the last year. She was the overall 2019 Nor-Am Cup winner and picked up her first World Cup points last year at the Killington Cup. She is also a 7-time national champion.
O’Brien will start 37th on Saturday.
Paula Moltzan is another American in Saturday’s action and she’s well-known in the Vermont ski world. Moltzan enrolled at the University of Vermont in 2017 and instantly became a hit on the slopes.
As a freshman, she won the 2017 NCAA women’s slalom individual national championship, only the fifth UVM woman to do that and the first freshman to do so since 1986.
Her most recent win came in the slalom National Championship in Italy, where she finished just ahead of fellow American, O’Brien. Moltzan also finished first in a college race at Stowe Mountain Resort in January. She had a trio of top-five finishes in the Nor-Am Cup in February.
Moltzan starts 45th on Saturday.
Lila Lapanja and Resi Stiegler round out the American contingent in the slalom races this weekend.
Stiegler is the veteran of the group, having competed in three Olympics.
The World Cup freeski slopestyle events take center stage in Stubai, Austria this weekend as well. Caroline Claire, Darian Stevens, Colby Stevenson, Nick Goepper and Willie Borm are among the stateside standouts set to compete.
Claire is from Manchester Center and went to Stratton Mountain School. Claire was a member of the 2018 U.S. Olympic team.
In October, the giant slalom event in Soelden, Austria kicked off the FIS World Cup slate.
Moltzan was 10th in the women’s race that day, with O’Brien taking 15th. On the men’s side, the U.S.’s Tommy Ford was 22nd and River Radamus was 27th.
The World Cup events will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Network, the Olympic Channel and NBC’s streaming service Peacock throughout the weekend.