American skier Mikaela Shiffrin misses podium in third straight event

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(BEIJING) — Mikaela Shiffrin came up empty-handed in her third competition after shockingly wiping out in her first two races, both of which she was expected to contend for the gold.

Shiffrin finished ninth in the super-G, with Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami winning gold, her second medal of the Games. The event is not one of Shiffrin’s best, but she is expected to be a contender again in the Alpine combined in a week.

Two days earlier, Shiffrin had shockingly busted out of the competition just seconds into the first run of the slalom. Shiffrin missed the fourth gate in her run, the event where she won her first Olympic gold in 2014.

The skier, who was expected to challenge for several medals in Beijing, sat on the side of the hill, with her head in her hands, for 20 minutes after the stunning accident.

The 26-year-old also fell during her first run in the giant slalom on Monday, disqualifying her from the event.

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“Could blame it on a lot of things…and we’ll analyze it till the cows come home, but not today,” Shiffrin said on Instagram following that crash. “Today I chalk it up to really awful timing of a really frustrating mistake. Moving focus to slalom now, AND cheering for my teammates in the second run of the GS and the DH!”

Sweden’s Sara Hector took the gold with a time of 1:55:68, followed by Italy’s Federica Brignone with a time of 1:55.97 and Gut-Behrami with a time of 1:56:41.

Shiffrin is one medal away from tying the record for most Olympic medals by a female American Alpine skier, four. She is two gold medals away from holding the record for most golds ever by a female Alpine skier, also four.

Shiffrin aims to have many chances to attempt those feats during the games as she plans on competing in three other Alpine events over the next two weeks.

She is still expected to compete in the downhill on Valentine’s Day and the combined on Feb. 17. She also said on Thursday she may compete in the team event, which she had not planned to enter coming into the Games.

Shiffrin, a Colorado native, has been competing since she was 16 and quickly became one of the sport’s all-time greatest skiers with her record-setting performances. She is the most decorated Alpine skier in the world circuit having won 11 World Championship medals, six gold.

At 18 years old she became the youngest slalom champion when she won a gold medal in the 2014 Sochi Games. Shiffrin won a gold medal in the giant slalom competition and a silver medal in the combined competition during the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

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