CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy — Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel claimed her first ever alpine skiing World Cup downhill win with a time of one minute and 33.5 seconds, beating American Jacqueline Wiles by 0.35sec at Cortina d’Ampezzo.
“I’m extremely happy with how I skied and how it went, I felt really proud of myself,” said Mowinckel according to AFP.
“I hit the right spots, and also it was a huge difference coming down (the bottom) here today, because I was really bad here, so I fixed something and apparently that worked.”
Reigning downhill champion Sofia Goggia, who finished 0.44sec off the pace in third, had been leading when the race was interrupted for over half an hour due to winds judged dangerous for competitors just 17 runs into the event.
Elsewhere, Stephanie Venier held her nerve to win a World Cup downhill after Mikaela Shiffrin and other skiers crashed on the course marked for the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics.
Shiffrin crashed into the safety nets after losing control while landing a jump on the upper portion of the course. She was helped off the course with her left boot raised off the snow.
After Shiffrin and fellow former overall champion Federica Brignone went down, as well as Olympic champion Corinne Suter, Venier was able to deal with the challenging terrain on the Olympia delle Tofane course.
Venier finished 0.39 seconds ahead of Lara Gut-Behrami and 0.71 ahead of three skiers who tied for third: Valerie Grenier, Christina Ager and home favourite Sofia Goggia – creating a rare five-person podium.
“I saw all the crashes on the top,” Venier said according to AP. “But I think I managed it, and it was a good run, and my technician did a really good job. My skis were really fast.”
Venier´s second career World Cup win came five years after a downhill win in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
No women on the once dominant Austrian team had won a downhill since December 2019 through Nicole Schmidhofer at Lake Louise, Alberta.
Shiffrin´s arms were flailing as she landed in a patch of soft snow. The American, who has a record 95 World Cup wins, then slammed into the net at high speed and rebounded back onto the snow. Medics tended to Shiffrin immediately.
Shiffrin´s team said she suffered a left leg injury and was taken by ambulance to the clinic in Cortina.
Brignone crashed shortly after the race resumed following a delay because of Shiffrin´s fall. But Brignone got right up and proceeded to ski down. She was unhurt.
Then Suter pulled up midway down her run with an apparent injury. Suter sat and clutched her left knee.
Michelle Gisin, a two-time Olympic champion, also crashed later on but appeared to avoid serious injury.
The race was held amid clear and sunny conditions but warm temperatures.
Shiffrin and Brignone are the fourth and fifth former overall World Cup champions to crash in the past two weeks following season-ending injuries to Alexis Pinturault, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Petra Vlhova.
In all, 12 of 52 starters didn’t finish the race.