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Editor’s note: Shiffrin did not participate in training on Thursday, in which Joana Haehlen of Switzerland was first, Vlhova was 13th, Olympic downhill gold medalist Corinne Suter was 38th and Olympic downhill silver medalist Sofia Goggia was 17th. Shiffrin also is not on the start list for Friday’s second training run — meaning she will not race over the weekend — and Vlhova is on the list.
It does not appear that Mikaela Shiffrin of Edwards will compete in this weekend’s downhill races in Crans Montana, Switzerland. At least, she isn’t among the Americans on the start list for Thursday’s training run.
However, Shiffrin’s top World Cup rival and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics slalom gold medalist, Petra Vlhova, of Slovakia, is on the start list.
And Vlhova, the defending overall World Cup champion, trails Shiffrin by just 17 points in this season’s overall chase as Shiffrin tries to tie former Vail resident Lindsey Vonn for the most overall globes by an American ski racer (four).
Vlhova had been more selective this season after competing in every event last season, but now she appears locked into that every-discipline mindset with just four stops left on the circuit over the next month, and she’s had success before in the downhill at Crans Montana.
Unlike Vlhova, Shiffrin — a two-time gold medalist from the 2014 and 2018 Olympics — did not medal at Beijing.
Shiffrin, whose best individual results at the Beijing Games came in speed (9th in super-G, 18th in downhill and fifth after the combined downhill), would likely have been able to gain some ground on Vlhova in the overall race in the pair of downhills scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in Crans Montana.
But athletes must complete at least one training run in order to compete in the actual races over the weekend. Another training run is scheduled for Friday.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team on Friday confirmed in its newsletter that Shiffrin will not be racing in Crans Montana:
“World Cup Continues In Garmisch, Crans-Montana. The FIS Ski World Cup tour carries on this weekend, with the men heading to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, for back-to-back slalom races while the women will compete in a double-downhill weekend in Crans-Montana, Switzerland on Jan. 26-27. Luke Winters, Ben Ritchie, Jett Seymour, and Alex Leever will start for the men, while Jackie Wiles, Bella Wright, Keely Cashman, and Alix Wilkinson will start for the women. Find Out How To Watch.”
Next up after Crans Montana, the women race a super-G in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on Saturday, March 5, followed by a giant slalom on Sunday, March 6. No word yet on whether Shiffrin will compete in those races.