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Shiffrin holds spotlight after Vlhova win

The Associated Press

Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova celebrates after the women’s World Cup slalom on Saturday.

The Associated PressASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin still can’t believe an overall World Cup title happened and won’t fully buy in until the crystal globe is actually placed into her hands.

Part of the reason stems from this: She found out about locking up the crown shortly after waking up from a nap. So, it feels a little unreal.

It’s real all right, even if Petra Vlhova of Slovakia stole some of the show from Shiffrin by speeding up near the bottom to take a slalom race over the American at World Cup Finals on Saturday.

Shiffrin secured the overall Friday when Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia decided to skip the slalom. Shiffrin was drowsy when her mom came into her room and delivered the news.

“It didn’t seem like a real thing, because it’s odd to say I won something in ski racing when I wasn’t actually out on the hill,” said Shiffrin, who will receive her trophy Sunday. “It will feel more real tomorrow, definitely, when I’m actually holding it.”

“It’s been a goal and a dream of mine since I was 5 years old. It’s really difficult to understand something that finally happens after 20 years,” she said.

The 22-year-old Shiffrin becomes the fifth American ski racer to win the overall crown, joining Phil Mahre (1981-83), Tamara McKinney (1983), Bode Miller (2005, 2008) and Lindsey Vonn (2008-10, 2012).

Typically, it’s Shiffrin who uncovers speed at the bottom of a course. Not this time, though, as Vlhova finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 32 seconds to eclipse Shiffrin by 0.24 seconds on the sun-drenched hill. Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter was third.

“If you want to win, you have to ski without mistakes, perfect,” explained Vlhova, who led Shiffrin by 0.07 seconds after the first run.

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