Mikaela Shiffrin still expects to race after taking tumble in recent practice run

Edwards skier's spill resulted in a bone bruise, but "no other major damage," according to Instagram post

Mikaela Shiffrin checks her time at the finish area of the World Cup giant slalom in Soelden, Austria on Oct. 28. Shiffrin will compete in back-to-back slalom events in Levi, Finland this Saturday and Sunday.
Gabriele Facciotti/AP photo

U.S. Alpine Ski fans breathed a collective deep sigh of relief on Thursday afternoon. Mikaela Shiffrin stated on Instagram Thursday she is “excited to race this weekend” and “slalom is good for the soul.” That’s all par for the course as a back-to-back World Cup slaloms await in Levi, Finland, on Saturday and Sunday.

But, the defending overall crystal globe winner also revealed in the post that she fell during a practice run last week and “took a fair amount of impact through my left knee.”

“But I’m lucky (and so very grateful) to have come away with a bone bruise but no other major damage,” the relatively injury-free 28-year-old stated.

“We’ve been taking it easy and strategically building back into load, skiing, and finally some gates…and I’m feeling quite good now, just in time for the weekend.”

Shiffrin’s publicist Megan Harrod shared in an email to the Vail Daily that Shiffrin “sustained a significant bone bruise to her tibial plateau but stability and ligaments are all perfectly intact.”

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“This week has been about promoting and healing with symptom and load management in the initial phase,” she wrote. “She’s been working on restoring normal movement patterns, dosing in load in the gym and adding a little bit of skiing through this week and she’s feeling good.”

Harrod said Shiffrin has been moving toward her goal of gaining confidence, timing and rhythm on her slalom skis.

“Final preparations this week have obviously been far from ideal, but her slalom through the summer and fall prep to this point has been awesome,” Harrod stated. “Even though races this weekend may not be her perfect opportunity to fully showcase her highest level of skiing that she’s been practicing through the prep, the entire team is excited to be able to race and very optimistic that it will be a positive and productive weekend.”

The first run on both Saturday and Sunday is at 2 a.m. MST, with the final coming at 5 a.m. will live stream the Levi World Cups to subscribing American viewers.

Shiffrin has won six slaloms on the Levi Black course, including back-to-back wins in 2022. The Edwards skier also placed second four times and was third in her first event there in 2012. She won six of the 11 slalom events last season en route to a seventh-career slalom globe. Last month, she opened the 2023 campaign with a sixth-place giant slalom finish in Soelden, Austria.

In her post, Shiffrin praised U.S. Ski Team physical therapist Regan Dewhirst and medical staff back in the U.S. as well as friends made at various clinics around Finland for helping her toward a quick recovery.

“We see crashes very often in skiing, I know mine here isn’t the worst, the first, or the last — that’s the risk we take. Still … it was a bit of a touchpoint with reality. We’re all so strong yet also fragile at the same time,” Shiffrin wrote before pivoting to offer encouragement to other injured athletes.

“Whether your recovery time is one day, two weeks or two years, that part of the sport (any sport) is literally ‘never’ ‘not’ scary. For any young athletes out there grappling with a fear of falling, a fear of failing, a fear of pain, (fear in general!), keep reminding yourself that you are not alone,” her post continued.

“You really don’t need to be immune to fear in order to do amazing things in your career and life. We all walk through life hand-in-hand with our goals, dreams, and fears — always.”

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