While Mikaela Shiffrin might have been all smiles, as she stood at the top of the podium after earning her 45th World Cup victory today she seemed calm, cool and collected compared with her teammate, Paula Moltzan.
Moltzan, a sophomore at University of Vermont was literally jumping for joy and hugging her U.S. teammates as well as Canadian Laurence St. Germain, another University of Vermont student who skis on the Canadian National Team. (See our story on UVM’s two racers here.)
Moltzan’s firsr run finish of 28th assured her a second run — the first time she’s made the second run since 2015. And her second run had her standing on the winners’ podium for a few quick minutes. “I couldn’t believe it, it just didn’t seem real, she said.” As more racers came down the foggy rutted course (and three racers fell, skied out of the course or otherwise earned a DNF), Moltzan fell in the rankings. Her second run was the fourth fastest, but when combined with the time on her first run, she ended up 17th, with her friend and fellow UVM student Laurence St. Germain (skiing for Canada) in 14th. Burke Mountain Academy grad and U.S. Ski Team member Nina O’Brien scored her first World Cup points, finishing 23rd.
At the press conference after the race, O’Brien joined Shiffrin in the winners’ chairs. Both credited their time at Burke, and their experience skiing East Coast conditions .with navigating the fog and slush that characterized the race today. “The conditions were so tough there were a couple of places where I didn’t even know if I was on course, Shiffrin said. “But I remember my coach at Burke Mountain Academy telling me ‘Remember the double forward pole plant — get your double forward pole plants in,” Shiffrin, age 23 said. “It really helped me to stay forward.” For O’Brien, 20, it was all about that Eastern attitude. “At Burke you learn to go out in any conditions and to really love it. I think there’s just this attitude there.”