Image reference: https://www.upi.com/US-skier-Mikaela-Shiffrin-pulls-out-of-womens-downhill/5911519048342/
After winning her fourth gold medal at the world ski championships on Tuesday, Shiffrin decided to take some time to rest and refocus for the upcoming slalom races next week. She missed out on the Alpine combined race – where she would’ve been a crowd favourite – as well as the downhill and team event.
However, Mikaela Shiffrin’s decision to miss out on some of these events was met with criticism from some of her peers – including ski legends Lindsey Vonn, and Bode Miller.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Vonn expressed her thoughts.
“She could have won everything. “I’m a racer and I want to race in every single race that I possibly can. I respect her decision. It’s obviously her decision. But she has the potential and 100 percent the capability of getting a medal in all five disciplines. So I don’t personally understand it. Hopefully, I’m sure, she will get two golds in GS and slalom.”
Bode Miller had also questioned Shiffrin’s decision, telling The Associated Press –
“Her group around her they make decisions that they feel are best. It’s not for me to criticize those but I would have her racing for sure. But it’s different strokes different folks.”
In a telephone interview on Sunday, Shiffrin explained her decision, saying that her race choices were part of a “meticulous plan”.
“I would love to race every single race; there’s always that temptation”, said Shiffrin, “But I have to do what my body can handle – to go to the limit, but not beyond it”.
The 23-year old skier doesn’t want a repeat of last year’s events at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, when she became extremely stressed by schedule changes and postponements.
In an Instagram post, Mikaela Shiffrin expressed her thoughts on the criticism – “I’m flattered by some recent comments by Bode and Lindsey saying that they think I would have been a contender in 5 events this World Champs.” She continued by saying, “My goal is to be a true contender every time I step into the start, and to have the kind of longevity in my career that will allow me to look back when all is said and done and say that – for the vast majority of my career – I was able to compete and fight for that top step rather than be sidelined by getting burnt out or injured from pushing beyond my capacity.”
Shiffrin has had an outstanding season, winning 13 World Cup races in four different disciplines – slalom, super-G, parallel slalom and giant slalom. She’s only one medal away from breaking Vreni Schneider’s single-season record she set in 1988-89.
We wish Mikaela Shiffrin all the best for her upcoming races in Åre!
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