BEIJING – Two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin’s second race at the Beijing Games ended even more quickly than her first.
The 26-year-old American skidded out of control about five seconds into the opening run of the slalom Wednesday and is out of the event.
That was even less time than her trip down the course lasted in the first run of the giant slalom on Monday.
This time, Shiffrin went over to the side of the hill, sat in the snow and bowed her head.
Shiffrin came to China as one of the biggest stars of her – or any – sport at the Winter Olympics, a dominant-at-times Alpine skier who has been in the spotlight since she was a teenager.
She has said she plans to enter all five individual races at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center, and one gold would make her the second female ski racer to win at least one at three consecutive Games.
So far, though, Shiffrin is 0 for 2, unable even to complete a substantial portion of the first leg of either of her first two events. Both the slalom and giant slalom are specialties of hers, two-run technical races that combine two times.
It is not stunning that she has not won a medal, let alone a gold. As Shiffrin herself so often reminds everyone, anything can be happy on any given day. What is truly surprising is that she has been so off her game so immediately in each of her two trips along the course known as the Ice River.
Shiffrin’s next race could be the super-G on Friday. She never has competed in that event at an Olympics but did win it at the 2019 world championships.