North American Dreams
CANADA’S ERIN MIELZYNSKI AND U.S. SKIER RESI STIEGLER STEP UP TO
THEIR FIRST WORLD CUP PODIUMS WHILE MARLIES SCHILD SEALS THE
SEASON TITLE IN THE OFTERSCHWANG SLALOM BY ERIC WILLIAMS
That’s why we run the races.
At Ofterschwang on March 5, women’s World
Cup slalom racing went from same old, same old
OK, you can’t call Austrian Marlies Schild’s six-out-of-seven slalom winning streak old or boring, but let’s just say her winning this season has
been up there with death and taxes on a list of
At the penultimate slalom of the regular season,
nobody had bets on a pair of North American
racers who had never been on a World Cup podium. In her previous 20 World Cup starts, Canadian Erin Mielzynski had never finished better
than 13th. American Resi Stiegler hadn’t posted
a top- 10 result in more than four years since she
was assailed by a seemingly neverending chain
of injures starting in 2007.
Even after the first run, a Vegas bookie would
have gladly taken your money on either Mielzynski or Stiegler hitting the podium. Schild gave the
field a spark of hope in the first run when she
finished 0.77 seconds back in seventh place as
Slovenian Tina Maze took the lead. With a 0.35-
second lead, Maze looked like she was finally
ready to land her first win of the season after six
second-place results. German Lena Duerr stood
second; American Mikaela Shiffrin and Swede
Frida Hansdotter were tied for third, a little more
than a half second behind Maze. Mielzynski
stood fifth while Stiegler ranked ninth in bib No.
35 and giddily screamed in the finish area.
In run No. 2, Stiegler, who a day before had
scored her first World Cup GS points in four
years, finished with a 0.16-second advantage
on the previous racers. She watched as her time
held up through World Cup royalty: Tanja Pou-
tiainen, Schild and Maria Hoefl-Riesch. With a
Resi Steigler screams with joy upon
notching her first World Cup podium after
four years of injuries.
Erin Mielzynski became the first Candian
woman to win a World Cup slalom in 41 years.