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'Mind-blowing': Legends and rivals react to Shiffrin's record-setting exploits
Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates her 83rd World Cup win on Tuesday (Agence Zoom)

"It's mind-blowing."

That is how Norwegian superstar Aleksander Aamodt Kilde described Mikaela Shiffrin's 83rd World Cup win in Kronplatz on Tuesday — and as Shiffrin's boyfriend, he should be the least surprised of anyone. 

"These numbers are just insane to me," said Kilde, who has 20 World Cup victories of his own. 

"I can't really describe it but the way when I talk to her, she's just enjoying skiing," he added. "She loves it, she loves to get better. 

"Her mindset is just different, and that's why she's a brilliant athlete."

Shiffrin and Kilde at the World Cup finals in France last season (Agence Zoom)

Kilde led the reactions to Shiffrin's record-breaking win, which took her ahead of compatriot Lindsey Vonn as the most successful women's World Cup Alpine ski racer of all time.

"I'm really happy for Mikaela," Vonn wrote in a diary for the Associated Press.

"Records are meant to be broken and it's a sign of progress. And if anyone is to break my record, I'm really happy that it's an American."

Vonn (left) and Shiffrin (right) the only time they shared a World Cup podium, in a downhill race in Cortina d'Ampezzo on 19 January 2018, won by Italy's Sofia Goggia (centre) (Agence Zoom)

One of Shiffrin's biggest rivals on the technical slopes over the past few seasons, Slovakian star Petra Vlhova, prevented Shiffrin from claiming the record in her first attempt in Flachau two weeks ago, but couldn't do the same on Tuesday as she finished fourth.

"It's hard to find the words because what she's doing is something amazing," Vlhova said when asked about Shiffrin.

"Skiing with her is an honour and of course, sometime it's difficult because she's still winning. She made history and she's not finished yet."

Switzerland's Lara Gut-Behrami, who finished second to Shiffrin on Tuesday, still remembers Shiffrin's first World Cup podium in a slalom race in Lienz, Austria, in December 2011. 

The previous day, Gut-Behrami and Shiffrin both failed to qualify for the second run in a giant slalom race in which Italy's Federica Brignone, who came third on Tuesday, finished second.

"With me and Fede, we raced her (Shiffrin) for the first time in the World Cup in Lienz many years ago, and it's fun to still be on the podium together," Gut-Behrami said.

"It's unbelievable what she's doing. She's so solid and she's skiing so great. She's an amazing athlete."

Gut-Behrami (left), Shiffrin (centre) and Brignone (right) on the podium on Tuesday (Agence Zoom)

French veteran Tessa Worley, who finished fifth on Tuesday, has also watched Shiffrin's career from the beginning and said it was great to simply be part of the same generation as the American star.

"It's not a surprise, we all knew she would break this record — it was just a matter of when," Worley said in French. "It's impressive, it's inspirational. It's quite cool and it gives a good image to women's skiing and Alpine skiing."

While her rivals applaud Shiffrin from afar, her teammate Nina O'Brien, who finished 18th in Kronplatz, is relishing the opportunity to learn up-close from Shiffrin on a daily basis. 

"I just feel so lucky to be her teammate in this era and watch her write history every day," O'Brien said on Tuesday. "It's a lot of fun and she's been really supportive as well."

The next record in Shiffrin's sights is legendary Swede Ingemar Stenmark's total of 86 World Cup wins for any Alpine skier, but that's not where Shiffrin's journey will end, according to Vonn.

"I don't think that Stenmark is necessarily the benchmark," Vonn wrote. "She's going to set the new standard and we'll just have to wait and see how high she's able to go."

 
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