If ever there was a medal ripe for the taking, that is it.
Mikaela Shiffrin is certainly one of simply 25 different skiers within the mixed occasion subject and certainly one of only a handful of skiers who’ve the talents to compete for the rostrum in an occasion that features runs of each downhill and slalom.
The technique for Shiffrin on one other crisp, clear day on the Yanqing Nationwide Alpine Heart is simply because it all the time is in mixed: survive the downhill with an satisfactory run, then produce a top-class slalom to surge into the lead.
In 2018, Shiffrin was in sixth place after the downhill, 1.21 seconds behind the eventual winner, Michelle Gisin of Switzerland. Shiffrin took the silver after a powerful slalom exhibiting, and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland took the bronze.
Gisin and Holdener are each racing as we speak, however Shiffrin is at the moment the second-best slalom racer on the planet, behind solely Petra Vlhova of Slovakia. Vlhova, the gold medalist within the slalom final week, opted to not race within the mixed.
There are simply three different skiers within the subject who’re within the high 15 within the World Cup rankings in slalom: Gisin, Holdener and Katharina Huber of Austria.
Shiffrin got here to the Olympics favored to win medals in a number of occasions. However she was disqualified within the giant slalom and slalom races final week. She completed ninth within the super-G and 18th within the downhill.
Shiffrin’s stumbles within the opening races of the Beijing Olympics had been unfathomable — failures, she later known as them — however as she enters her closing particular person race at these Winter Video games, an extended Olympic journey continues to be forward for her.