Winter Olympics: Shiffrin 'feels like a joke' after third DNF

By Sports Desk February 17, 2022 809

Mikaela Shiffrin was left feeling "like a joke" after her latest Beijing 2022 disappointment as the American recorded her third DNF in the women's combined.

Thursday's event provided Shiffrin with a chance to redeem herself after crashing out of the giant slalom and slalom, before finishing ninth in the super-G and 18th in the downhill.

But after recording the best time in training on Wednesday, the two-time gold medallist and reigning world champion endured yet more heartbreak on the main run.

She was fifth after the downhill in the two-event competition and well positioned to earn a fourth Winter Olympics medal heading into the slalom run.

However, Shiffrin – famed for her consistency – skied out of the slalom course at the 10th gate at the Yanqing National Alpine Ski Centre.

Switzerland's Michelle Gisin defended her combined crown by finishing more than a second ahead of team-mate Wendy Holdener, while Italy's Federica Brignone took bronze.

Asked by Discovery+ what is not working for her in Beijing, Shiffrin said: "That's the question you want to know and it's what I want to know too. 

"I don't really understand what's not working on these races. Especially today.

"Even in the GS and slalom I felt maybe I had too high intensity, I was trying too hard, and I just didn't get into my rhythm first.

"Today I was much more relaxed. Just 'Hey it's slalom, I know how to do slalom, I will take the chance to get into my tempo and start pushing each gate and build it from there.'

"I didn't want to hold back on the run just to make it to the finish – and I wasn't. But I also wasn't going 110 per cent. I was just skiing, and it still didn't work. 

"I don't have a really good explanation for it, and you can imagine how annoying that is for me, because I always want to find an explanation. Right now it's just, there isn't one."

Speaking to reporters later on Thursday, Shiffrin went further as she opened up on the hurt of falling short in each event.

"The whole shebang in sport is that you can have preparation, you can have confidence, or maybe you're not fully confident, you can have all of these pieces," she said. 

"Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I have literally no idea why we keep coming back and doing it. Especially after today.

"But I'm going to come back out tomorrow and ski some parallel GS, because I'm that much of an idiot. I don't know why we keep doing it, but making good turns feels amazing. 

"And I've been doing that these entire two weeks. I wish there was something to show for it. Right now, I just feel like a joke."

Shiffrin has one final chance to win a medal when competing for the United States in Saturday's mixed team parallel event.

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Last modified on Thursday, 17 February 2022 08:42
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