Mikaela Shiffrin was unable to capitalize on her last opportunity to win an individual medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics, skiing out in the slalom portion of the women’s combined competition.
It was Shiffrin’s third DNF of the 2022 Games, with all three coming on the Ice River technical course that also staged the giant slalom and slalom competitions.
The 26-year-old American was fifth after the downhill phase of the combined event, trailing by just over a half-second. On paper, with Shiffrin’s unmatched slalom pedigree, that performance put her in the running for the gold medal.
However, she entered the slalom phase lacking confidence, telling NBC’s Todd Lewis that the memory of skiing out during the women’s slalom event seven days prior had been replaying in her head. “I’m not feeling totally confident with the slalom,” she said.
Though Shiffrin made it farther down the course than she had seven days earlier, the result was ultimately the same.
“I feel like a joke,” Shiffrin said with a sarcastic chuckle afterward. “Maybe I made someone smile, I don’t know.”
For the first time in three trips to the Winter Olympics, she did not collect an individual medal despite skiing all five individual events for the first time. She was the defending silver medalist in the combined event.
“I don’t know if anybody’s failed that hard with so many opportunities, maybe in the history of the Olympics. But I will take it. I mean, it is a joke. That’s fine. I just really, selfishly, wanted to have a good run of slalom down this hill and, yeah, I’ll be left wanting there,” she said.
Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin capitalized on Shiffrin’s error to win her second consecutive gold medal in the event and Switzerland’s record-setting fifth Alpine gold of the 2022 Winter Games. Another Swiss skier, Wendy Holdener, claimed the silver and Italy’s Federica Brignone took bronze.
Shiffrin is still scheduled to race for the United States as part of the mixed team parallel slalom event on Saturday. The U.S. is not among the favorites for the podium in that event.