Mikaela Shiffrin after winning last week's World Cup slalom at Squaw Valley, California // Getty Images

Skiing

Feeling 22, and everything is so all right

The American racer Mikaela Shiffrin on Friday clinched enough points to win the fancy crystal globe that goes to the alpine World Cup tour’s best overall female skier.

She becomes just the third American to win the season title. Tamara McKinney won it in 1983. Lindsey Vonn has won four big globes, as they like to call it on the tour, most recently in 2012. Now comes Mikaela Shiffrin, who just this past Monday turned 22.

Lindsey Vonn with her downhill and super-G World Cup crystal globes // photo Getty Images

Skiing

Lindsey Vonn’s first next chapter

It was long ago the case that Lindsey Vonn became the best alpine skier the United States ever produced.

Now, as this season’s racing draws to a close, with Vonn on a not-really-100 percent right knee, she has written a fascinating first next chapter to the ongoing story that is her singular career.

Lindsey Vonn, flanked by Stacey Cook, left, and Julia Mancuso on the podium after the Lake Louise downhill // photo Getty Images

Skiing

Second race back: Lindsey Vonn wins

Lindsey Vonn won Saturday. Improbably, maybe, but only if you don’t know Lindsey Vonn, who is as mentally tough as they come.

That she won is good — obviously — for her. Better, it’s good for the U.S. team, for alpine skiing and for Olympic sports, because the Olympic world needs stars and Lindsey Vonn is a big star, arguably the biggest in all of winter sports, even though she didn’t even ski at the Sochi Olympics.

Ted Ligety, left, and Germany's Felix Neureuther after crashing out in Run 2 of the slalom // photo Getty Images

Skiing

U.S. alpine: five is plenty fine

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — There were a couple hours Saturday evening when it seemed possible the U.S. alpine ski team — already with a performance here at the Sochi 2014 Olympics that history will judge as fine, indeed— might, just might, sneak away with what would amount to a bonus medal.

After Run 1 of the men’s slalom, Ted Ligety, winner three days ago of the giant slalom, had put himself in position for a medal. He was only 11-hundredths back of third.

Women's slalom gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin // photo courtesy Tom Kelly and U.S. Ski Team

Skiing

Shiffrin’s ‘sure as heck’ gold

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — The first Olympics he went to, in his very first race, 15-year-old Michael Phelps took fifth place. He got right back in the pool and, soon enough, he set his first world record. In his next Olympic race — which, because of the calendar, had to wait four years — he won gold.

In her first Olympic race, the women’s giant slalom here Tuesday, 18-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin took fifth. She said, “I think this is supposed to happen,” adding, “The next Olympics I go to, I sure as heck am not getting fifth.”