Mikaela Shiffrin will ski the downhill Tuesday for the primary time at an Olympic Video games, a call that she and her coaches made after a second profitable coaching run Monday on the Yanqing Nationwide Alpine Heart.
Shiffrin, one of many world’s finest skiers, had a forgettable first week on the Olympics. She failed to complete her first two occasions, after coming into as one of many favorites for gold, and was ninth within the super-G on Friday. Whereas the primary two outcomes left Shiffrin pondering her continued participation at one level, she was buoyed by her end on Friday.
Nonetheless, a begin within the downhill, her weakest occasion, appeared unlikely.
However Shiffrin turned within the second quickest coaching run for a U.S. skier, behind Jacqueline Wiles, and the seventeenth quickest general, on a vibrant and chilly day on the mountain that was far completely different than Sunday, when a snowstorm compelled the cancellation of a scheduled coaching run on the downhill course.
“We had a day of relaxation and restoration on this 17-day block that was unplanned and was truly very nice,” Shiffrin mentioned shortly after finishing her observe run.
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 on Friday, and was joyful simply to recover from the end line for the primary time in Beijing.
Shiffrin has received downhill races on the World Cup however she has by no means received a World Championship downhill. She had hoped to enter the downhill within the 2018 Olympics however adjustments within the schedule brought on by dangerous climate compelled her to desert that plan. Considered one of her objectives in Beijing was to race in all 5 particular person occasions, and competing within the downhill would hold her on observe for that.
It additionally will give her an opportunity to organize for the downhill phase of the mixed occasion, which incorporates runs of downhill and slalom. Shiffrin received the silver in that occasion in 2018.
She had one different occasion deliberate on Monday. Shiffrin’s boyfriend, the Norwegian skier Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, a two-time medalist at these Olympics, was ready for her to hitch him within the Olympic Village for Valentine’s Day.
“We are able to’t actually do something,” Shiffrin mentioned. “Possibly we’ll go to dinner and eat with a type of plastic dividers separating us.”