A day after parting with her longtime coach, alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin took gold in the women's giant slalom at the 2023 World Championships in Meribel Courchevel. This became her seventh world title, as well as her 13th medal overall in 16 career world championship races.
Shiffrin made a mistake near the end of the race but she was able to hold on and beat Italian skier Federica Brignone by 0.12 seconds. Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel took bronze after finishing 0.22 seconds behind.
"It's been definitely some high levels of stress these days," Shiffrin told the Associated Press. "It was very, very difficult today to keep the focus and keep the intensity on the right level."
Shiffrin had been with coach Mike Day for seven years. She told him that she was planning on taking a new direction at the conclusion of the season, but Day opted to leave immediately. Shiffrin thanked him for their time together and told OlympicTalk that she didn't intend to make an official announcement during world championships, "but the way things have conspired, that's how it happened."
The 27-year-old is now one of the most successful skiers in the modern history of the Alpine world championships. She tied with Austrian Toni Sailer (1950s), Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel (1960s) and Swede Anja Pärson (2000s) for individual gold medals, according to NBC Sports.
German Christl Cranz -- who competed in the 1930s and was Alpine skiing's first female Olympic champion -- technically has the most hardware as she won 15 medals, 12 golds, when worlds were held annually and there were three events and fewer skiers. Worlds are different now as they are six individual events held biennially.
"I don't know if I can really put a value on any medal, but today felt very special," Shiffrin told NBC Sports. "It's a moment I'm going to remember forever."
Shiffrin has one event left in Meribel Courchevel as she is set to compete in the slalom on Saturday. This year's World Championships started on Feb. 6 and will wrap up on Feb. 19.