Mikaela Shiffrin won her seventh career Alpine world championships gold medal on Thursday, taking the giant slalom in Méribel, France, in the Alps.
Federica Brignone of Italy and Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway finished second and third.
Shiffrin took the lead after the first run by 12-hundredths of a second over Tessa Worley of France, the local favorite. Worley fell on the second run, giving Shiffrin some breathing room.
Skiing on a course that was rough because of melting snow caused by a temperature near 50 degrees Fahrenheit, Shiffrin made an error near the bottom. She put up only the 12th-fastest time on the second run, skiing slower than Brignone and Mowinckel. But her combined time was good enough for the win by 12-hundredths of a second.
“I was so nervous,” Shiffrin told the crowd immediately after the race. “This is not an easy position with the hometown favorite; thank you for cheering for me anyway.”
Her victory was some measure of vindication after a disappointing 2022 Olympics at which she failed to win a medal (after winning gold at the 2014 Games and gold and silver at the 2018 Games).
This was her first gold at the world championships in the giant slalom, having won four slalom, one super-G and one combined gold from 2013 to 2021. Nonetheless, she was the favorite, having won five of the eight World Cup giant slaloms this season coming into the worlds.
Last month, Shiffrin, 27, broke her fellow American Lindsey Vonn’s record by winning her 83rd World Cup race. She now stands at 85, one short of the record for either gender, set by Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden in the 1970s and ’80s.
On Wednesday in a surprise announcement, Shiffrin said she was splitting from her coach of seven years, Mike Day.
She is still to ski in her best event, the slalom, on Saturday.