High winds delay Mikaela Shiffrin’s Pyeongchang Olympics debut again
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Mikaela Shiffrin’s 2018 Olympic debut will wait at least another day.
Wednesday, Feb 14’s giant slalom — Thursday night in Colorado — was postponed due to wind and snow at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre. The race has been rescheduled for Friday in Korea (Thursday night in Colorado).
It’s the second event for Shiffrin that has been pushed back on the schedule. Shiffrin’s first scheduled race, the giant slalom scheduled for Monday, Feb. 12, was postponed due to winds and is now set to take place Thursday (Wednesday night in Colorado).
The men’s downhill, originally set for Sunday, was also postponed, to Thursday (Wednesday night in Colorado).
Anxious to compete
U.S. Women’s Team head coach Paul Kristofic said the women are anxious to compete but also understand that weather delays are a part of ski racing.
“It’s challenging, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “You’ve got to get ready physically for a race like this; it starts early in the morning. And then the psychological aspect of getting ready to perform at the biggest event of the year. All that takes time and energy, and everyone’s a little bummed out when a day like this happens. But they happen to us, so we’re quite used to it.“
The women are now scheduled to race three days in a row — the giant slalom Thursday (Wednesday night in Colorado), the slalom Friday (Thursday night in Colorado) and the super-G Saturday (Friday night in Colorado). Shiffrin’s participation in the super-G has not yet been announced.
“It compresses the schedule so it makes for a more hectic five, six days as we approach speed events,” Kristofic said. “That’s something we’re considering as we move forward.”
At the slalom Wednesday, the first run was initially delayed for two hours due to strong winds and poor visibility at the Pyongyang Alpine Centre. About 30 minutes before the scheduled start, organizers pulled the plug on the day’s race.
Shiffrin, 22, of Eagle-Vail, is seeking her second career medal and first of the Pyeongchang, South Korea, Winter Olympics. She will be among the favorites in three races — the slalom, the giant slalom and the alpine combined.
She is the defending slalom gold medalist, the overall World Cup champ and leads this season’s overall race by a huge margin.
Armed with cardboard signs, and their voices, students around the valley walked out of school on Friday to join hundreds of thousands of their peers to demand action on global climate change.