SOELDEN,AUSTRIA,28.OCT.23 – ALPINE SKIING – FIS World Cup season opening, Rettenbachferner, Paula Moltzan (USA). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Matic Klansek

Shiffrin and Moltzan Sparkle at Sölden World Cup Opener

Sun, snow, and sizzling performances set the stage at the 2023-24 Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour’s commencement in Sölden, Austria on Oct. 28. While the limelight did focus on Swiss marvel Lara Gut-Behrami, our very own Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team stars, Mikaela Shiffrin and Paula Moltzan, were not far behind.

Shiffrin, heralded as the winningest alpine skier of all time, confidently carried Team USA’s flag, wrapping up the day in an admirable sixth place. Ever the humble champion, she shared, “It was a little messy in spots, but I liked my mentality going into the second run more. I just was not able to execute perfectly, but… the top women skied unbelievable today and I think there is a lot to learn from that.” Paula Moltzan, meanwhile, demonstrated sheer grit. After a challenging start, she commented on her comeback, “I was excited for the day and when I crossed the finish line, I realized I needed to forget about that run and focus on my skiing.” Rocketing from 28th to 11th place, she added, “There was nothing to lose, so I just let it go.”

Interestingly, Moltzan has deeper roots in the skiing world as an esteemed alumna of the Buck Hill Ski Race Team. As she carved her path on the Austrian slopes, it was a nostalgic nod to her early racing days back at Buck Hill.

In another heartwarming chapter, the Bocock sisters, Mary and Elisabeth, stepped onto the World Cup stage for the first time. A rare sight indeed, as it marked a full 24 years since a sister duo debuted in a World Cup together. Though they didn’t make it to the second runs, their spirit was unmissable. “That was so cool!” exclaimed Elisabeth Bocock, adding, “I can still hear my tech cheering behind me. It was tough but the feeling was awesome.” Her sibling, Mary, echoed the sentiment, “It was nice to have each other at the start and going through this new experience together.”

While the event celebrated Gut-Behrami’s third triumph at Sölden, it was undeniably an event that showcased the mettle and spirit of Team USA’s Shiffrin and Moltzan. Their performances, paired with their inspiring stories, make us eagerly await the next downhill adventure. Onward and downhill! 🎿🏔️🇺🇸