Like many athletes, Shiffrin sees pressure as a privilege, but at the same time she still reels from the disappointment of not having lived up to expectations – perhaps her own as well as everyone else’s.
“It’s amazing to be in the position where I’m coming to the Olympics and I’m a contender and I’m actually expected to win a medal at multiple events,” she admitted. “It’s spectacular. That says a lot about the work my whole team has done so far.”
But she couldn’t shake the feeling that she had let everyone down.
Although she didn’t wake up feeling “great” this morning, she did look outside and see the sun shining. She likes The Rock Speed Course and its snow surface, and she loves skiing in Super-G, a speed event she has won five times – four World Cups and the 2019 World Championships.
Even beyond the results, the event is just plain old skiing fun. Falling off The Rock quickly could be the perfect antidote to her week.
And it was. Shiffrin felt calmer — “a little calmer” — and she was skiing solidly.
All along — even before she lost DNF in this week’s slalom and giant slalom — Shiffrin knew that winning a medal in the 2022 Olympic Super-G was going to be a big challenge. To date, she has not competed in the Super-G since the World Cup in Cortina in January and before that the World Cup in Val d’Isere in December. And several of her competitors have excelled in this discipline this season, such as Gut-Behrami and Gisin.
But crossing the finish line was a victory in itself for Shiffrin.
“Coming back and getting the chance to race again,” she said, “was actually the right thing to do.”
Also Ski Super G for Team USA
Joining Shiffrin in Team USA’s women’s Super-G were first-time Olympians Isabella Wright, Keely Cashman and Alix Wilkinson.
Wright crossed the line in 21st and Cashman – a University of Utah student – in 27th. Wilkinson DNFed, skied out after being late at a gate when The Rock crashed into the rocks. She didn’t fall and drove safely to the finish.
Want to follow Team USA athletes during the Beijing 2022 Olympics? Visit TeamUSA.org/Beijing-2022-Olympic-Games to view the competition schedule, medal table and results.