Skiing superstar Mikaela Shiffrin had her late father on her mind when she made World Cup history on Tuesday in her final slalom event before next month's Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Shiffrin, 26, paid tribute to her parents and team in posts on Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday after she set the record for the most World Cup wins in a single discipline in history with her 47th career win in the slalom under the lights in Schladming, Austria.
"Last night was a privilege," she wrote. "Thank you. Dad, I hope you had a good view. Mom, your strength, love, support and belief in me is the greatest treasure I’ll ever know.
"Team, thank you for continuing to pick up my pieces on a daily basis for the last two years, and for giving me the wonderful gift to simply keep trying."
Shiffrin's father, Jeff Shiffrin, died at 65 in 2020 from a head injury suffered in an accident in Colorado, leaving the two-time Olympic gold medalist questioning whether she would ever ski competitively again.
She felt him looking down from above on Tuesday night as she passed Swedish skiing legend Ingemar Stenmark, who had 46 World Cup wins in the giant slalom in his career.
Shiffrin edged the world's top-ranked slalom skier, Slovak Petra Vlhova, by 0.15 of a second to take home the win. Vlhova's second-place finish gave her the slalom crystal globe as the top racer in that event for the World Cup season.
"@petravlhova13, your slalom is wonderful to watch," Shiffrin wrote in her social media post. "Congratulations to you and your team for securing the globe."
When Shiffrin realized she had beaten Vlhova, she leaned over and cried, according to NBC Sports.
“I’m just crying a lot lately,” Shiffrin told Austria's ORF after the race. “It feels like it didn’t happen.”
She now has 73 World Cup wins across all events, which ranks third all time and second among women behind only the 82 by retired legend Lindsey Vonn.
Shiffrin is once again a medal favorite in Beijing despite a difficult year of grappling with the devastating loss of her father. She said on TODAY in October that his loss is "the most difficult thing" she has ever endured.
She now plans to compete in several alpine skiing events at the Winter Olympics in February in the hopes of adding to the two gold medals and one silver she already has on her résumé.