the Chinese nightmare of skier Mikaela Shiffrin

An endless nightmare. Mikaela Shiffrin goes from disillusion to disillusion in Yanqing, on the slopes of the Beijing Olympics. After finishing in a very good fifth place in the downhill, the American was eliminated on Thursday February 17 during the slalom round of the alpine combined, of which she was however the reigning Olympic vice-champion, after having “saddled” shortly after departure.

The skier from Colorado will therefore not win any individual medals during these Olympic Games, she who had set herself the challenge of getting on the podium in each of the events on the Olympic program. ” I feel ridiculous, she said a few hours after the end of the race. I knew my plan, I was focused, I was skiing well, but it still doesn’t work. »

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The descent into hell for Mikaela Shiffrin began on February 7 during the giant slalom. On the Ice River, the Yanqing track, the American lost the title obtained four years earlier in Pyeongchang (South Korea) at the fifth gate. “It’s a huge disappointment, the day ends before it has even started. I’m not going to feel sorry for myself, that would be a waste of energy.”, she then tried to console herself. She wanted, she said, “refocus on the future”.

Two days later, same fate during the slalom. Olympic champion in the discipline in Sochi (2014), she leaves after five doors. The evil is deeper. “I feel pretty bad, yes. But I’ll get over it, even if it’s complicated now.”, had entrusted the skier with 73 victories – including 47 in slalom, an absolute record in the same discipline, men and women combined – in the World Cup.

Fight for the Big Globe

The American Mikaela Shiffrin, shortly after having straddled during the slalom of the alpine combined of the Olympic Games, Thursday February 17, in Yanqing (China).

Its 9and and 18and places in the super-G and downhill on February 11 and 15 gave a glimpse of what then seemed inevitable: a zero point at the Games for one of the best skiers of all time, like the Frenchman Alexis Pinturault for the men, another empty-handed favorite in Yanqing. Both have one last opportunity to “save” their Games from scarcity, on Saturday February 19, during the mixed team parallel event.

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Mikaela Shiffrin will quickly have to evacuate her stay in China if she does not want to lose everything this winter. First in the general classification of the World Cup, the American is only 17 points ahead of the Slovak Petra Vlhova, who left Yanqing with the slalom gold medal in her pocket.

Winner of three big globes (2017, 2018, 2019), prodigy of regularity so far, Shiffrin can hope to take off a little on her biggest rival from the end of February with two descents in Crans-Montana, in Switzerland, and regain the efficiency of his skiing before the finals of the 2021-2022 season, from March 14 to 20, in Courchevel-Méribel (Savoie). She has very good memories in Savoie, she signed seven of her successes there during her career.