Mikaela Shiffrin’s Pyeongchang debut delayed due to strong winds
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Mikaela Shiffrin will have to wait two more days for her 2018 Olympic debut.
But now she’ll start her Olympics with her strongest event, the slalom.
Monday, Feb. 12’s giant slalom was delayed due to heavy winds at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre. The race has been rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 16 — Wednesday night, Feb. 15, Colorado time.
The slalom is scheduled for Wednesday — Tuesday night, Feb. 13 in Colorado.
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“It’s a bummer that we’re not able to race today,” she said in a statement. “But with the training block I’ve had, I’m prepared and feeling good. I’ll use this time to continue to train and refocus on Wednesday’s slalom race. We have a great gym and space to eat and take plenty of naps, so I’ll use this time to recharge.”
The U.S. starters are Shiffrin, Resi Stiegler, Megan McJames and Tricia Mangan.
Vail’s Sarah Schleper, who is now competing for Mexico, will also race in GS.
The men’s downhill, originally set for Monday, has already been rescheduled for Thursday, at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre.
Shiffrin will be gunning for her second career Olympic medal at Wednesday’s slalom. She won the Olympic slalom four years ago in Sochi, Russia.
The 22-year-old Eagle-Vail resident is seen as a multiple medal threat at these Games. She said she hasn’t decided yet which events she will compete in beyond the slalom and giant slalom.
“I don’t feel pressured to medal as a favorite or I don’t feel any external pressure,” she said last week. “The expectations come more for myself which is actually the biggest pressure of all. But I care. I want to medal. I want to medal in multiple disciplines, but I also know going against my competitors … and they all want to medal, too.”
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.