Mikaela Shiffrin, who has already won a gold medal in giant slalom at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, announced she will not race in Wednesday’s downhill competition so she can focus fully on Thursday’s alpine combined event.
She made her decision shortly after officials moved up the alpine combined event one day because of the strong winds expected in Friday’s forecast. When Shiffrin competed on back-to-back days last week in PyeongChang, she followed up her giant slalom gold with a fourth-place finish in slalom, unable to defend the title she earned at 18 years old in 2014.
“As much as I wanted to compete in the Olympic downhill, with the schedule change, it’s important for me to focus my energy on preparing for the combined,” Shiffrin said. “I’m looking forward to cheering on our girls racing in the downhill and to compete myself in Thursday’s combined.”
The 22-year-old has only ever raced in two combined world cup events, finishing eighth in February 2016 in Soldeu, Andorra, and winning in February 2017 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
Shiffrin will now compete in just three of the five events she originally intended to in PyeongChang, also skipping the super-G.