Alpine Skiing

Lara Gut-Behrami takes maiden world title in women's Super G at Cortina 2021

The 29-year-old Swiss skier won her first gold in a major competition as she finished ahead of teammate Corinne Suter, with defending champion Mikaela Shiffrin in bronze.

By Alessandro Poggi ·

After five medals in previous alpine skiing world championships, Lara Gut-Behrami has finally won her first title.

The 29-year-old skier led a Swiss 1-2 in the opening event of the competition in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, where racing was eventually underway on Thursday (11th February) after three days of cancellations and delays due to adverse weather conditions.

The conditions were perfect this time at the Dolomites resort, with low temperatures and only a slight wind.

Gut-Behrami was the big pre-race big favourite, following her four consecutive Super G wins in World Cup events at the start of 2021, and didn't disappoint.

Starting with bib no. 7, she made light work of the Olympia delle Tofane course and finished 0.34 seconds ahead of teammate Corinne Suter.

“In the past I always wanted to win the gold and it never happened, but today it was the first time that I knew that my life wouldn't change if I would win or not," she told FIS TV.

"I didn’t ski to win the gold medal, but to show what I can, and this was the big difference if I compare this year and the previous editions" - Lara Gut-Behrami

"I also finally know how much I’m worth and it’s not that if you win a gold medal your career is worth something and if you’re not winning you’re not worth anything."

Defending champion Mikaela Shiffrin, at her first speed race in 382 days and with only four days of Super G training, lost time in the lower part of the track, but in the end managed to hold on third, 0.47 seconds behind the winner.

The American clinched her eighth medal in the 10 World championships starts so far.

"I’m super pleased. I had such a good feeling skiing the hill – I don’t know, I just loved it," the Double Olympic champion said.

"It was just so much fun. I had a mistake but even with that I felt like it was still fun. I was just thinking, ‘That’s not very fast, but who knows?’" - Mikaela Shiffrin

22 nations were represented in the opening race (including Kenya with Sabrina Simader) and the top 9 skiers finished within a second of the winner.

Olympic champion Ester Ledecka missed the podium by just 0.06 seconds, while reigning overall World Cup leader Petra Vlhova finished ninth.

With three Super G world medals after a silver in 2013 and a bronze in 2017, Gut-Behrami equalled Isolde Kostner, Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso for the record of medals in the event.

She also joined compatriot Vreni Schneider with six medals at the ski world championships, and among Swiss women only Erika Hess is in front of her with seven medals.

The women's ski competitions in Cortina will be back on Saturday 13 February with the downhill event (11:00). The men's racing begins later on Thursday.