YANQING, CHINA (AFP) – United States (US) ski star Mikaela Shiffrin (AP pic below) has admitted she would be disappointed to leave the Beijing Olympics without a medal, but has warned it is impossible to have two “perfect weeks” at a Games.
Shiffrin is one of the headline acts at Beijing 2022, hunting a third gold after triumphing in slalom at the 2014 Sochi Games and giant slalom four years later in Pyeongchang.
Aged just 26, the four-time world slalom champion and three-time World Cup overall winner has progressed from a pure technical skier to a true all-rounder.
She is the sole skier, male or female, to have won in all six International Ski Federation (FIS) disciplines, having stepped up from slalom and giant slalom to also claim World Cup wins in both the super-G – four times – and downhill (two) as well as parallel slalom and alpine combined.
Needless to say, expectations are sky high, with Shiffrin set to enter at least three events at the Olympics.
“There is going to be some level of disappointment if I walk away with no medal,” she said. “I don’t think it’s possible to walk away without any level of disappointment. I don’t think you can truly say: ‘I’m not disappointed about how something went’.
“I’ve never in my life had three weeks where I had no regrets and no disappointment so it definitely can’t be expected at the Olympics… It’s just a fact of life!”
She conceded that medal expectations were understandable, but the Olympics involved “a lot of moving pieces”.
“There are a lot of factors that are not really under your control. Most of it is actually out of your control, not even the way you experience a normal World Cup race,” she said.
“At the Olympics, it’s impossible to have the perfect two weeks.”