Mikaela Shiffrin and U.S. miss out on medal in mixed parallel team event
Mikaela Shiffrin’s forgettable Winter Olympics ended just short of a medal Sunday.
Competing as part of the U.S. squad in the mixed parallel slalom event, Shiffrin and three teammates lost to Norway in the bronze medal match at the Yanqing National Alpine Centre.
Shiffrin’s sixth event at the Games — only one other woman has matched the feat — ended in disappointment like the five individual events that preceded it, though the world’s top female skier pushed back against that idea.
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“I am not disappointed,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of disappointing moments at these Games, today is not one of them. Today is my favorite memory.”
In the event that had been pushed back by a day because of high wind, each of the four competitors race an opponent of the same gender through the 21-gate run on the Rainbow course that’s being used for the first time at the Games.
The U.S. team of Tommy Ford, Paula Moltzan, River Radamus and Shiffrin beat Slovakia and Italy, then lost to Germany to fall into the consolation final.
Moltzan opened the match with victory, then Ford lost and Norway’s Thea Louise Stjernesund beat Shiffrin by more than a half-second. Radamus won the fourth race after Timon Haugan crashed, but Norway earned the tiebreaker because their aggregate winning times were faster than those of the U.S.
“There is so much about this event that just hangs in the balance and today with wind as well, there’s just too much that you have to hope for good karma or good luck or whatever,” Shiffrin said. “You just hope to do the very best you can and control the things you can, and these guys did very top level of skiing and we were that close to getting a medal today and that is a testament to the work everybody has done this entire time, years leading up to these Games.”
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She lost three of her four races in the event, including the final, though two of them were by a combined 0.12 seconds.
The Beijing Olympics haven’t been easy for Shiffrin, the second-winningest female skier of all time on the World Cup circuit. She didn’t finish three races — the giant slalom, slalom and slalom leg of the combined — and placed ninth in the super-G and 18th in the downhill.
Her two career Olympic gold medals remain tied with Ted Ligety and Andrea Mead Lawrence for the most by a U.S. Alpine skier.
But Shiffrin managed to conclude her time in China with a smile.
“This was the best possible way that I could imagine ending the Games, skiing with such strong teammates,” she said.
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