Shiffrin misses race after warmup fall
AP Sports Writer
Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin crashed while warming up for a World Cup giant slalom race in Are, Sweden, on Saturday and was taken to a local hospital for tests on her right knee.
“She basically flipped over into the net,” Shiffrin’s manager Kilian Albrecht told The Associated Press as Shiffrin missed the race. “She’s in the hospital waiting for the MRI which will probably take a while.”
The U.S. Ski Team did not immediately issue a statement on Shiffrin’s status, as per team policy to await full injury details.
“I fell during free skiing on the race hill and I’m waiting for an MRI this afternoon to see what’s going on,” Shiffrin wrote on Facebook under a picture of her sitting on a bed with a brace on her right knee.
She was taken to a hospital in Ostersund, Albrecht said.
The 20-year-old Shiffrin won gold in the slalom at the 2014 Sochi Games and also won the slalom at the last two world championships.
Shiffrin also won the opening two slaloms this season in Aspen, Colorado, last month — one of them by 3.07 seconds, the largest margin of victory in World Cup history for the women’s discipline.
In the overall World Cup standings, Shiffrin dropped to 104 points behind fellow American Lindsey Vonn, who won Saturday’s race.
The first run of the GS race was delayed by 15 minutes due to strong winds and shortened by 11 gates. Visibility was also a factor, with the artificial lights turned on to aid skiers.
Sara Hector of Sweden, the first starter, pulled up midway through her run with an apparent knee injury and was taken down the course on a sled.
“I hope both of them are OK,” Vonn said. “Ski racing needs Mikaela and Sara. We can’t afford to lose any more athletes so I really hope that they’re both OK. We need them back at the start tomorrow.”
With Tina Maze taking this season off and defending overall winner Anna Fenninger out injured for the year, Shiffrin and Vonn are the top two overall contenders.
Shiffrin had done well in Are previously. She won her first World Cup race there three years ago by taking a night slalom and also won two other slaloms at the Swedish resort near the Arctic Circle.
A slalom is scheduled for Sunday in Are.
Andrew Dampf on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/asdampf
Check out the Sports Illustrated cover featuring an 18-year-old Shiffrin.