Mikaela Shiffrin voted skier of the year by journalists
SOELDEN, Austria (AP) — Three-time overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin has been voted skier of the year for 2019, beating last year's winner Marcel Hirscher in the vote by the international association of ski journalists.
Shiffrin, who also won the award in 2017, set an all-time best mark by winning 17 World Cup races. The American added gold medals in slalom and super-G, and bronze in GS at the world championships in Sweden in February.
"It feels a little bit wrong, actually, but it's also an incredible honor," Shiffrin said Friday after receiving the Skieur d'Or-Serge Lang Trophy, named after the founder of Alpine skiing's World Cup in the 1960s.
"It's astounding to me that's it not Marcel this year, because he's had such an incredible career. I certainly would have voted for him."
AIJS President Patrick Lang praised Shiffrin for being "a very enjoyable interview partner for ski reporters" and for "doing a great job to promote our sport around the globe."
Lang said Shiffrin beat Hirscher, who retired after winning his record-extending eighth straight overall championship, "by only a few votes."
Hirscher and Swiss great Pirmin Zurbriggen received the award four times each. Earlier American winners include Lindsey Vonn in 2009 and Bode Miller in 2005.
The new World Cup season starts with a women's giant slalom on the Rettenbach glacier on Saturday, followed by the men's race the next day.