Even on the final day it was no longer possible to get a medal. In her third Olympic participation, Mikaela Shiffrin, the long-time dominator among alpine ski racers, remained without a medal for the first time.
But she shed no more tears after fourth place with the USA in the mixed team event. “I’ve had a lot of disappointing moments in those games, none of them today,” Shiffrin said. “Today is my fondest memory.”
She feels “the most special, most positive and most optimistic feeling I’ve had in the whole time here”. According to the 26-year-old, her teammates carried her through the games. For that she is grateful.
Shiffrin endured a string of defeats in China. Both in the giant slalom, in which she triumphed at the 2018 Games, and in the slalom, in which she not only won Olympic gold in 2014, but also a whopping 47 World Cup victories, she retired early. After finishing 9th and 18th in the Super-G and downhill, she seemed a bit more stable again.
Then in the slalom the combination was followed by the next off. The exceptional athlete was then apparently met with hatred on social media. But Shiffrin also got a lot of encouragement – including from US gymnastics star Simone Biles. After a tearful first few days, she finally left with her head held high.