Jan 13 (Reuters) - Two-time Olympic gold medallist Mikaela Shiffrin said her first slalom win in 13 months in Austria on Tuesday felt like a fresh start.
Racing in light snowfall under the lights, Shiffrin sealed a record 44th slalom victory with a time of 1:47.92, holding off Katharina Liensberger of Austria by 0.19 seconds.
"It feels a little bit like a new beginning," Shiffrin told broadcaster ORF. "Most of my wins and my best races are behind me. It's already happened. And, at 25, it's weird to think the bulk of my best racing in my career is already over."
Shiffrin, who endured a traumatic 2020 due to the death of her father in February, the COVID-19 pandemic and a back injury, last triumphed in slalom in December 2019.
"You can't really move forward until you stop trying to go back, and I'm having a difficult time with that," she said.
"It's hard not to want that, to just want life to be like it was before Feb. 2. I'm probably going to be struggling with that for a while, but I think that tonight was a pretty big step."
The result earned her a 68th World Cup victory, leaving her 14 wins behind fellow American Lindsey Vonn, who holds the record for most by a woman.
Those milestones were not on her mind, though, she said.
"This slope has kind of tripped me up the last several years. I just wanted to ski strong," Shiffrin said. "It was really fun." (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford )