Shiffrin nears Stenmark's record but says his legacy is safe

FIS Alpine Ski World Cup - Mikaela Shiffrin Press Conference
Alpine Skiing - FIS Alpine Ski World Cup - Mikaela Shiffrin Press Conference - Meribel, France - February 4, 2023 Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. during the press conference REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Feb 6 (Reuters) - Mikaela Shiffrin is one win away from equalling Ingemar Stenmark's decades-old mark of 86 World Cup victories but while she may displace the Swedish great in the record books the American said she cannot "surpass his legacy".

Shiffrin's slalom victory in the Czech resort of Spindleruv Mlyn on Jan. 28 put her on the brink of Stenmark's haul but she will not get the chance to set a new mark until after the Feb. 6-19 Alpine world championships.

The 27-year-old, who last month secured her 83rd victory to surpass the women's record set by Lindsey Vonn, also played down suggestions she could be considered the 'Greatest Of All Time' (GOAT).

"Ingemar. Maybe I can surpass him in numbers, but I can't surpass his legacy," Shiffrin told double Olympic gold medallist Tina Maze in an interview with Eurosport.

"So I think there's more than one 'GOAT', and I guess maybe that's how I choose to think about it.

"But there are too many amazing stories in ski racing over the years, like your record-breaking season is still something that inspires me to be tougher when I feel tired," Shiffrin added, referring to Maze's record-breaking 2013 season.

Double Olympic gold medallist Stenmark won his 86 races in the 1970s and 1980s, with the first a slalom at the Italian resort of Madonna di Campiglio in 1974 and the final victory in a giant slalom at Aspen in 1989.

Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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