Morning Chronicle - Shiffrin in second Olympic failure, ran out of 'space and time'

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Shiffrin in second Olympic failure, ran out of 'space and time'
Shiffrin in second Olympic failure, ran out of 'space and time'

Shiffrin in second Olympic failure, ran out of 'space and time'

Mikaela Shiffrin said she felt "awful" after the American's Beijing Olympics went from bad to worse on Wednesday when she slid out of the slalom.

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Shiffrin was one of the big favourites but managed just a handful of gates before skiing out, two days after she made a similar shock exit from the giant slalom.

“I feel a lot of disappointment. My performance is a huge letdown so far," Shiffrin said.

"Today I wish there had been a little more space and more time."

Shiffrin, a double Olympic gold medallist, said she felt "pretty awful", although she added: "It won't feel awful for ever. I just feel pretty low right now."

Shiffrin went into the slalom -- the shortest technical event on the programme -- as a four-time world slalom champion and gold medallist at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

But her medal hopes now rest on three more individual events in Beijing, with the super-G on Friday, followed by the downhill on Monday and the alpine combined on February 17.

The mixed team parallel 48 hours after that remains a distant possibility.

Running with bib number seven, Shiffrin made an absolute hash of her run, sliding wide on a turn high up to make it impossible to re-align quickly enough for the next gate.

Shocked gasps rang around the finish area where a few hundred spectators watched in silence as the 26-year-old immediately skied to the side of the course, slumping down in the snow, head in hands.

It was the first time Shiffrin had failed to finish in consecutive technical races since December 2011 when she was 16 and in her debut World Cup season.

"I was pushing out of the start. I had full intentions of skiing as hard as I could," she said.

"I slipped up a little bit on one turn and I just didn't give myself room to make any kind of error like that. I was planning to go on the most aggressive line, the most challenging line to ski.

"But I also know it's the fastest. I didn't make it past five gates, so I guess that's what happened."

- 'Never been in this position' -

Shiffrin also played down the weight of expectation, saying: “My skiing's been really solid my entire career… (and I've been able) to trust my skiing if the skiing is good."

Finishing races "has never been an issue in my entire career".

"I’ve never been in this position before and I don’t know how to handle it," she admitted.

"It hurts but in 24 hours nobody will care," she added.

"I’m not scared to feel weighed down by some expectation," she said.

"I have three medals and they’re still in my closet. There’s so much to be optimistic about."

Shiffrin’s three-season streak as overall women's World Cup champion ended with a horrible season marked by the sudden death of her father Jeff in February 2020 and she insisted that that "does give me some perspective".

"As hard as it is right now, it’s not comparable to some of the worse things I’ve experienced," a tearful Shiffrin said.

"Right now I’d like to call him (her father) so that doesn’t make it much easier.

"He’d probably tell me to get over it. But he’s not here to say that so on top of everything else I’m pretty angry with him too."

Germany's Lena Duerr topped the first leg of the slalom, with a raft of other favourites still in the running for the second leg scheduled for 2:15 pm (0615 GMT).