Queenstown skier making impact on world stage

Queenstown skier Alice Robinson is action at the World Cup final giant slalom in Soldeu, in Andorra, yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Queenstown skier Alice Robinson is action at the World Cup final giant slalom in Soldeu, in Andorra, yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
A skier goes down hill. But Alice Robinson's career is going in the other direction - up - and very quickly.

Robinson, a 17-year-old schoolgirl from Wakatipu High School, claimed a World Cup medal, finishing with a silver in the giant slalom at the World Cup finals in Andorra yesterday

She finished just 0.3 seconds behind the winner, all-conquering American Mikaela Shiffrin.

World champion Petra Vlhova was third.

It has been a swift rise for Robinson, who would now put the skis away for a while and get back to the books.

The year 13 pupil was due back at Wakatipu High School midweek and study would become the priority.

She would have some good stories to tell the class, though - not least the chance to share the podium with some champions.

''It's amazing to be able to share my first podium with these two athletes,'' Robinson said.

''They have been the most dominant on the tour this season so it's amazing.''

The last New Zealand athlete to podium at a FIS Alpine World Cup event was Claudia Riegler in slalom in 2002.

Robinson earned her start at the World Cup Finals as the junior world champion in giant slalom. She has been turning heads this northern hemisphere season with a string of impressive results including a Europa Cup win and two Europa Cup silver medals, 17th place, including the fastest second-run time, at the World Championships in Sweden in February, and a 16th-place finish at the World Cup in the Czech Republic earlier this month.

She was overcome with emotion after picking up the silver.

''It's crazy. It's a little bit surreal, a perfect day.''

The last racer to start, in bib 21, Robinson skied into third place with her first run and kept her focus for a blistering second run which enabled her to jump into the silver medal spot.

''After the first run I was in third and I knew just to keep calm and ski another good run and hopefully it would keep me in the same position. I'm just really happy to move up.''

Shiffrin capped off the most successful World Cup season in history on Sunday by claiming her 60th career victory in the women's giant slalom. She completed the 2018-19 winter by collecting her third consecutive crystal globe, sixth slalom globe, first super-g globe and first giant slalom globe.

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