Olympic Winter Games Day 12 News, Scores and Live Updates
YANQING, China — Mikaela Shiffrin’s last chance to win an individual medal at the Beijing Olympics comes Thursday in the women’s alpine combined — a morning downhill followed by an afternoon slalom downhill.
Shiffrin, 26, won silver in the combined four years ago in PyeongChang. But her Olympics so far have been defined by the disappointments of skiing at the start of the first run of the giant slalom and slalom – two disciplines in which she has won gold medals at previous Olympics.
“It’s just important to be able to compartmentalize the downhill – fully focused on the downhill – and then start the slalom part of the day like it’s a new day, and that’s really hard to do. The combined days are long, and the events couldn’t be more opposite. It’s like doing two different sports in one day. This is the biggest challenge.
Prior to the Olympics, Shiffrin – perhaps the most versatile active skier in the world – would have been considered a near-lock for a medal in the combined. But his misadventures in his iconic events leave everything in doubt. Slovak Petra Vlhova, who was perhaps one of her biggest combined opponents, left China earlier this week with an injury. But Michelle Gisin and Wendy Hoeldener of Switzerland – who won gold and bronze respectively in 2018 – should be on the court.
“Nothing is guaranteed, and that’s the number one lesson that I think a lot of people learn at the Olympics, that there are no guarantees for anything,” said Shiffrin, who finished 17th in Tuesday’s downhill. “Not for performance or results.”
In downhill practice on Wednesday, Shiffrin clocked the best time in the peloton, with Holdener second – 0.93 seconds – and Gisin fourth.
Shiffrin also plans to compete in Saturday’s mixed team event, joining teammates Paula Moltzan, River Radamus and Tommy Ford.