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3 Heavy Hitters

WC 2022 POST-season notes - Heavy Hitters

7/21 original notes Calibiri

7/22 Post notes in Arial Narrow (Calibri Italic here)

7/22 Post Additional notes—as available--in Bookman Old (Calibri bold here)

(Couldn’t figure out how to change fonts for this.)

These are original notes, unchanged from post-season 2021 and 2022.

2020 Overall and Discipline rankings included for recent reference/context.

Mikaela Shiffrin – Her own category. If she develops her speed over the summer and contests DH and SG full season along with GS and SL, and doesn’t get hurt, she’ll waltz to Overall title. This assumes—quite rightly IMO—that her speed ability will reflect her tech results/points standards by at least 70%. I suspect she’ll run half to two-thirds of speed races—contesting on venues best suited to her technical/tactical skills. Will skip spooky/dangerous tracks, and some events to rest. Reducing Speed schedule will tighten Overall contest, but she’ll start as necessary to win big globe. Insane talent.

2021 4th 1075 pts. GS-2 SL-2 4th Overall without running a single speed event. (age 26)

2020 Withdrew late season per family tragedy; still finished 2nd Overall.

2022 1st 1522 pts. DH-28 SL-2 GS-4 SG-3

Nailed it. Smoked DH final season race to tuck away Overall by nearly 200 pts. Barring injury, she’ll have two more Overalls and, say, four discipline titles end of 2024. Goddess entering her prime.

In my, and I’m sure many others’ opinion, a lock for next two/three Overall titles. In her own class. Injury/back pain only thing preventing dominance–or another racer fulfilling potential with cracking year in at least three disciplines. I’ll pick MS 1st/2nd in SL and GS, 3d/4th SG, top-15 DH, for season. Gutless proviso: her running substantial Speed calendar may tire her a tad, allowing Petra and Katharina consistent strong tech finishes. Obviously, another SL title wouldn’t be surprising, nor would another 2019 romp. She’ll have 100 wins before she’s 30.

May 2023 amidst 88-win hoopla

Mikaela has achieved an international sport’s greatest triumph and its greatest failure. She dusted the U.S. sports media stage, leaving nothing, like Led Zeppelin opening for Vanilla Fudge. Re Beijing: skiing out is far more dramatic than finishing 10th. Mysteriously chic. She can’t even fail mortally. The upside, IMO, is that Petra and Sara won gold. They needed and deserved it. And very well would have won regardless, being at the top of their games. But perhaps Fate touched the piste: today these two get their due. Mikaela can wait. Which she did for a few weeks then locked down her 4th Overall.

Petra Vlhova – Marvelous overall season, though didn’t win an event category. 2021 jubilation may affect her this season. Improved Speed ability would tighten Overall with Shiffrin/others. Will not/should not run another full/every event campaign. Must bump SL&GS up to 2nd if Speed events reduced. Olympic gold a prime goal, I bet. Unquestioned HOF potential. Seems poised, subtle; indeed, a distinguished presence. And I bet she’s healthily shrewd and will grow to call her own shots. (age 26)

2021 1st 1416 pts. DH-12 SG-8 GS-6 SL-3

2020 3d 1189 pts. DH-16 SG-14 GS-2 SL-1

2022 2nd 1427 pts. DH-37 SG-40 GS-3 SL-1

Overall: 2018 5th; 2019 2nd; 2020 3d; 2021 1st; 2022 2nd. Only Shiffrin exceeds Petra's recent excellence. A solid bet to hit 50 career wins. Kept Overall contest tight—mediocre speed and 2xGS glitches (DNF and 15th) decided it. Mission accomplished at Beijing. Barring injury, she’ll be no worse than 4th overall 2023…if my picks Gut-Behrami and Gisin come through. She’ll run more speed in 2023 (no pre-Olympic caution); another SL globe may well be in the cards, as MS ramps up Speed.

Will be a definitive season for her. Leaving Olympics after winning SL underscores highly-calculated objectives. Superb SL/GS; in Overall mix, but needs to match Shiffrin’s speed entries, and excel, to challenge Her Highness. A heavy lift. If Petra aspires to a legendary career, this campaign will let us know.

Federica Brignone – Ranking slipped from last season—primarily per just 5 DH starts. She’s in prime and one of the very best across 3 disciplines. Reclaim DH points and a couple GS spots and she’s right there for another Overall. I saw article re her questioning her own motivation to continue competing, especially owing to WC bureaucratic bullshit. Wants/needs a second Olympic medal to solidify HOF cred, strengthen post-career options. Very appealing personality. Occasionally glams/camps it up on media. (age 31)

2021 7th 867 pts. DH-19 SG-2 GS-5 SL-32

2020 1st 1378 pts. DH-3 SG-2 GS-1 SL-36

2022 3d 1055pts. DH-14 SG-1 GS-6 SL-38

Excellent season! DH bumped up a bit, and in winning SG title by 110 pts she eased comfortably into 3d overall (by 70 pts), while the 250-point gap behind Vlhova marked out the two big guns. Beijing GS silver—she must be quite pleased with 21-22. No indication she’s hanging ‘em up. I suspect that, like Gut-Behrami, Fede’s tuning up for a bold swan song. She’s so solid, I can’t slot her below 5th overall.

Truly superb. I see her 4th/5th Overall, barring injury. Apparently she’s souring on WC grind/politics, and considered retirement. But she’s so consistent and tough. Maybe final season–will be looking for a strong finale. Another GS or SG globe definitely possible.


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