American skier Mikaela Shiffrin’s run at the Olympics ends disappointingly without a medal
Mikaela Shiffrin’s 2022 Olympics came to a disappointing end on Sunday in the race for bronze in the wind-delayed mixed team parallel skiing event.
Shiffrin was hoping to salvage his unexpected stay in Beijing with one last chance to medal as part of the USA team, which also included Paula Moltzan, River Radamus and Tommy Ford, in the final alpine event. Instead, the team lost to Norway in a tie-break.
Team USA hugged at the bottom of the mountain after finding out they had placed fourth and out of the medals. Still, Shiffrin remained positive after the race and praised her teammates in a joint interview.
“I’m not disappointed,” Shiffrin said. “I had a lot of disappointing moments at those Games, today is not one of them. Today is my favorite memory. It was the best way I could imagine finishing the Games skiing with teammates too strong.”
Already one of the most decorated female alpine skiers in history and holder of three previous Olympic medals, the 26-year-old skier was set to win several medals at the Beijing Games and had expressed her hope of competing in all five individual disciplines. Although she was able to participate in every event, nothing else went as planned. Shiffrin recorded unusual “didn’t finish” results in the giant slalom, slalom and alpine combined races, and she finished ninth in the super-G and 18th in the downhill. If she had won a medal, she would have tied Julia Mancuso for the most medals by an American in alpine skiing.
Shiffrin has been candid about his struggles throughout these Games and expressed confusion over his difficult stretch.
“I don’t know, sometimes you just have to take it, I guess,” Shiffrin told NBC on Thursday after pulling out of the slalom portion of the combined event. “Try to fix it next time. I don’t know what I’m supposed to fix. That’s what’s frustrating. I don’t think there’s anything to fix. It got really, really wrong pass.”
The team event, which pits one skier from each country in a head-to-head slalom race, was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday but was delayed several times due to dangerous weather conditions before finally being rescheduled to Sunday. Shiffrin, along with several other competitors in the event, changed their travel plans in order to stay and participate.
Shiffrin was the first to compete for Team USA in their opening race against Slovakia, and she won her race. It was his first completed slalom race in Beijing. She lost in her races against Italy in the quarter-finals, against Germany in the semi-finals and against Norway, but she had clear races and finished all three. She then underlined how proud she was of her teammates for their strong performances throughout the day.
“There’s so much in this event that’s at stake, and today with the wind as well, there’s too much to hope for good karma or good luck or whatever,” Shiffrin said. “You just hope to do your best and control the things that you can, and these guys have been doing a really high level of skiing, and we were so close to getting a medal today; and that’s a testament to the hard work that everyone world has been doing all this time, the years leading up to these Games, it’s not just today.
Competing on Sunday, Shiffrin became the second woman in history to compete in all six alpine events at the Olympics, joining rival Petra Vlhova, who did so in 2018, the team event’s first year.
Austria eventually won the gold medal and Germany the silver. Switzerland, the defending gold medalist, was eliminated in the quarter-finals.