Shiffrin Misses 6th Chance at Medal, Sends a Message

American skier speaks of resilience and kindness
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2022 6:01 AM CST
USA's Shiffrin Misses Last Chance at Medal
Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States leaves the finish area after racing in a semifinal of the mixed team parallel skiing event at the 2022 Winter Olympics Sunday.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Mikaela Shiffrin competed in her sixth event on Sunday—a rarity in itself—but she missed out on her final chance to earn an Olympic medal in Beijing when Team USA finished fourth in the mixed parallel slalom. The 26-year-old, one of the world's top skiers, didn't shy away from the media afterward, notes Reuters. "There's so much about, 'What's your message to the haters, what do you want to say to the people who doubt you,' and I don't want to talk to them ... I want to talk to the people who have the potential to be kind," she said. And her message to those people? "You just need to get up. It's the most important takeaway from these last couple of weeks for me and it has nothing to do with the Olympics. I'm just grateful that these last couple of weeks has given me a platform to actually say it."

In five previous races—all individual events, as opposed to Sunday's team race—Shiffrin failed to finish in three of them and placed ninth and 18th in the others, per the New York Times. Shiffrin has three previous Olympic medals and is a three-time World Cup champion, and her surprising lack of success in Beijing made her the brunt of social media hatred. But as the Times notes, "her setbacks in Beijing fit a historical narrative arc of many of skiing’s greats, including Bode Miller, Lindsey Vonn and Ted Ligety, who failed at one Games and then thrived in another." CNN notes that Shiffrin became only the second woman in history to compete in all six Alpine events at a single Olympics. The other was Slovakia's Petra Vlhova in 2018. (More 2022 Beijing Olympics stories.)

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