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Mikaela Shiffrin of Edwards will race in Friday’s women’s super-G at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, a U.S. Ski team spokesperson confirmed Thursday to NBCOlympics.com, keeping alive the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s hopes of a medal at these Games after her mother raised speed-event questions.
Eileen Shiffrin told the Washington Post on Wednesday, “We’re going to wait and see. We have to figure it out, because the GS was a big disappointment, and this was also an enormous disappointment.”
Eileen Shiffrin was referring to Mikaela Shiffrin’s first two events at the Beijing Games — the tech specialist’s slalom and giant slalom DNF’s after just a handful of gates. Those slower races, with far more gates, are where Shiffrin has done most of her winning, including her two gold medals from the 2014 and 2018 Games. Her early exits in both races have shocked the ski-racing world.
“We’re not done yet,” Mikaela Shiffrin said less than an hour after skiing out in slalom on Wednesday, according to the Post. “But GS and slalom, those were my biggest focuses. So it really feels like a lot of work for nothing.”
Eileen Shiffrin said Mikaela has not really trained in the speed events of super-G and downhill since early December at Lake Louise, Canada, although she did finish 16th in a super-G at Cortina in late January.
“And I think of Mikaela as being really resilient, but we’re a little concerned about her doing speed with very little to no — she has no speed training,” Eileen Shiffrin told the Post. “None, essentially. So we’re a little worried that it could be dangerous. We’re going to try and sort that out.”
On Thursday, however, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team confirmed that after checking out the speed track in a couple of training runs at the Beijing Games, Shiffrin will compete in the super-G, which will be held Friday morning in Beijing (late Thursday in Colorado).
Shiffrin has won four regular season World Cup super-G races and a world championship in the discipline throughout her career.
Shiffrin’s boyfriend, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway, claimed his second medal of the Beijing Olympics on Thursday, earning the silver in alpine combined after winning a bronze in super-G.