American skiing superstar Mikaela Shiffrin has said Great Britain’s Dave Ryding has “inspired a ton of little racers today” after he created his own piece of history by winning the Slalom at Kitzbuhel.
Ryding, 35, stunned the field in Austria to take the first World Cup Slalom win in British history in what was an emotional scene for everyone involved.
Speaking exclusively to Eurosport after the result, Shiffrin, who has been a vocal champion of the British team, was full of praise for what Ryding had achieved.
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“I’m astounded and impressed by Dave’s skiing, but also not surprised,” Shiffrin said.
He’s been one of my favourite Slalom skiers for years now, and it’s so, so incredible to watch him do that today.
“Not to mention historic. That’s such a special achievement to come from his background skiing on plastic and prove that you can reach the top even if you didn’t grow up in a powerhouse ski racing country.
“He inspired a ton of little racers today.”
‘I never stopped believing’ – Ryding after history-making ski in Kitzbuhel
The American also tweeted her support for Ryding, following the US Ski team’s tweet sending their congratulations.
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“We’d be remiss not to send a *MASSIVE* CONGRATS to @daveryding for making history in the sport of alpine ski racing in such an incredible fashion. In Kitzbuhel no less! Incredible,” the US team wrote.
“Amaaaaaazing skiing @daveryding! Congratulations!” Shiffrin added.
Ryding himself, barely seemed able to comprehend what he had achieved when speaking after the race.
He said: “I’m 35 now, but I never stopped believing, I never stopped trying.
I ALWAYS BELIEVED I COULD DO IT, I ALWAYS THOUGHT I CAN DO THIS BUT MY RACES WERE GETTING LESS AND LESS AND DOUBT IS ALWAYS THERE.
Ryding, who is one of five different men’s Slalom winners this season (as well as one of three maiden winners) will now go to the Beijing Winter Olympics full of confidence.
He will fancy his chances of earning a medal given the openness of the men’s field.
Shiffrin herself sits second in the women’s Slalom standings and is a gold-medal favourite alongside rival and World Cup leader Petra Vlhova. Shiffrin won the latest Slalom race in Schladming on January 11.
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