This weekend, Killington Resort will once again host the Audi FIS Ski Women’s World Cup. And, once again, it promises to be a memorable event.
As with the last three years of the Audi FIS Ski Women’s World Cup, the 2019 and 2020 races at Killington will be broadcast worldwide to more than 60 nations, along with national broadcast coverage across the U.S. The event has drawn an increasing number of spectators who converge in Killington each year to cheer on racers from around the world. Peaking at 39,000 spectators last year, the event is anticipated to bring millions of dollars in economic impact to the state.
This event at Killington provides girls, young women and all fans from across the Northeast the opportunity to see the best in the world up close and personal.
Among the participants will be U.S. Ski Team superstar Mikaela Shiffrin, who, last weekend, clinched the title of skier with the most career World Cup slalom wins in history.
On Nov. 23, at the Levi, Finland, 2019-2020 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup event, Shiffrin broke the record held by Ingemar Stenmark from Sweden for more than three decades, with 40 titles. Shiffrin now has 41.
Shiffrin, who is 24, claimed the women’s record for World Cup slalom wins back in December 2018 when she surpassed Marlies Raich’s total of 35. Earlier this year, she became the first person to earn 15 World Cup wins across disciplines in a single season, breaking the record of 14. Then, she finished out the 2018-2019 season with two more victories.
A social media (and mainstream media) sensation, Shiffrin has become a role model to young women across the globe. Without question, she and her teammates are an inspiration.
Women in sports are using their platform to speak to injustices in our society, whether it is equal pay, racism, social justice or even climate justice.
Earlier this year a combined 1.12 billion viewers tuned in to official broadcast coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 across all platforms — a record audience for the competition.
“More than a sporting event, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 was a cultural phenomenon attracting more media attention than ever before and providing a platform for women’s football to flourish in the spotlight. The fact that we broke the 1 billion target just shows the pulling power of the women’s game and the fact that, if we promote and broadcast world-class football widely, whether it’s played by men or women, the fans will always want to watch,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Throughout the tournament, the women spoke out about equal pay, raising the issue to a global level.
The topic of women in sports has become more commonplace and conversational among sports enthusiasts. Female athletes and professionals are getting the recognition they deserve.
Barriers were broken in the 1920s and 1930s with pioneer athletes like Gertrude Ederle (swimming), Babe Didrikson Zaharias (golf), and Jackie Mitchell (baseball). Decades later, the world of sports has been challenged and pierced by female athletes and influential women.
Today’s sports are sprinkled with brilliant athletes like Shiffrin who enjoy breaking records and setting higher bars.
Here are a few other names from 2019 of individuals who pushed limits and made outstanding contributions to sports.
Simone Biles: The most-decorated female gymnast in the world, with a total of 20 gold medals. She truly showcases what it means to be a successful and humble athlete.
Serena Williams: She is one of the best tennis players in the world. She has won 17 singles Grand Slams, 13 women’s doubles Grand Slams, two mixed doubles Grand Slams and four Olympic gold medals. She has taught girls to stand up for themselves and what they believe in (and fairness in sports).
Toni Harris: She signed a contract to play defense on the men’s football team for Central Methodist University. Harris has said she has dreams of being the first female to play in the NFL.
Sarah Thomas: She made history this year when she became the first woman to officiate a NFL playoff game.
It is too bad that in 2019 (almost 2020) we are celebrating firsts. But here we are, and moving in the right direction toward bolder steps of equality, justice and athleticism.
We are eager to see the list of firsts continue to grow as more women achieve statuses that have historically been dominated by men. The future is a bright and exciting one for female athletes, and the world is waiting with anticipation.
And this weekend, we will likely get to see history being made again.