ST. MORITZ, Switzerland – She can joke now about the accident that sent her car into a twisting fall off a mountain road and left it balancing on top of a van as if parked there by choice.
On Saturday, Sofia Goggia won her first World Cup ski race since walking away uninjured from the incident in her native Italy eight months ago.
“I am more famous for this car accident, better than Olympic gold,” quipped the 2018 Pyeongchang Games downhill champion.
“It was not my moment to go, I think,” Goggia said when asked about the crash at a news conference after winning a super-G race and edging World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin into third. “My life continued without any stop.”
Her silver Audi left a slippery road at Sestriere when she steered to avoid hitting the car in front which had slowed.
Goggia said the accident caused “a little bit of shock,” and then described some after-effects.
“I had just, like, three nights in which I was waking up during my sleep with the feeling that I was turning in my car. But that was it.”
Goggia added: “It’s a signal that you have to reassess something in your life, but it was really okay.”
The 27-year-old Italian’s skiing was more than okay on a sunny but windswept mountain above the high-end resort of St. Moritz.
Goggia won by the smallest margin, just 0.01 second faster than teammate Federica Brignone.
Shiffrin trailed Goggia by 0.13 in third. A sixth podium finish in eight World Cup races so far extended her overall standings lead as she seeks a fourth consecutive title.
It was the second time in two weeks that Shiffrin stood looking up at two Italians. It also happened in a giant slalom at Killington, Vermont, where Marta Bassino edged Brignone for victory.
“They are all great skiers and they have a really aggressive mindset,” Shiffrin said of her friendly rivalry with the Italy team. “It’s super cool to see.”
Goggia is one of the most flamboyant racers, and seemed at the limit making some turns before losing a ski pole landing a jump near the end. She chose to let the pole go after soaring “too long, too high” at the jump.
Brignone watched while sitting in the leader’s box and applauded with hands above her head on seeing her teammate’s time.
“It’s an amazing thing for all the team to share the podium and share happiness,”said Brignone, though acknowledging it hurt to lose by so little.
“It’s one-hundredth so it burns. A lot,” she said.
A seventh career World Cup win was Goggia’s third in super-G. She also took silver at the biennial world championships in February when Shiffrin won by just 0.02.
Goggia also held nothing back standing atop the podium, loudly and heartily singing her national anthem, known by its opening line of Fratelli d’Italia, with eyes closed.
In a tight race, 10 racers were within one second of the winner. Nicole Schmidhofer, the 2017 world champion on this course, was fourth and there was a three-way tie for sixth.
By placing 10th, Viktoria Rebensburg rose to lead the super-G standings after two races. The German racer is also second overall though her World Cup points total is less than half of Shiffrin’s 532 tally.
“For now, she (Shiffrin) is unbeatable for the overall,” said Brignone, who is third.
However, Shiffrin will not chase 100 more points Sunday in the parallel slalom racing event she won last year
The U.S. team said Shiffrin would sit out the race to rest ahead of a busy schedule in the next two weeks.
Goggia will be at the start line, making her debut in the newest Alpine event.