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The Stifel Killington Cup

Women on Top: Dispatch from the Stifel Killington Cup

The world’s best female ski racers hit the slopes in Vermont

East coast ski season started with a bang at the Stifel Killington Cup in Killington, Vermont, which over Thanksgiving weekend hosted the world’s best ski racers vying to upset world champ Mikaela Shiffrin. Spoiler alert: They didn’t.

At 30, Shiffrin is still the world’s best ski racer. Her Killington World Cup slalom win was her career 55th and her 90thWorld Cup victory. She is alpine skiing’s all-time winningest, one reason wealth management firm Stifel chose her to star in a new series of ads alongside the company’s Chairman and CEO Ronald J. Kruszewski as part of its expanded partnership with the U.S. Ski Team. In the spots, the ski legend ponders the question: “How do you know when you’ve reached the top?” (The answer: There’s always further to go.)

At Killington, the 100 athletes representing 20 countries competed for a crowd of more than 34,000 across three days—the mountain resort’s biggest event of the year, and one it earns the honors of hosting thanks to a commitment to cutting edge snowmaking, which this year meant 130 snow guns fired up to make the course. The weekend kicked off with the athlete bib presentation and a fireworks show and ended with prize money that was 30% higher than previous years thanks to Stifel. The weekend also highlighted “HERoic,” a women’s initiative by the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team designed to empower and create opportunities for women in the ski industry, including a sold-out panel discussion and movie premiere of the all-female film, Advice for Girls, and performances by Matisyahu, Young the Giant, and Mix Master Mike.

Indeed, it was a celebration of the power of women and of female athletes. “I have to say thank you so much to Stifel for setting a new precedent in the sport about the worth of the athletes and the work we do,” said Shiffrin. “It takes all our time and energy, and my big hope is that other nations and partners will follow suit. To see how much this brings to the sport and to see that the athletes are truly valued. To feel valued for what you do is really incredible.”