Mikaela Shiffrin delivered the downhill run she needed in the first half of the women’s combined event to put herself in contention for her first medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Shiffrin skied The Rock downhill course in 1:32.98, the fifth-best time of the field. She was 0.56 back of Austria’s Christine Scheyer in the top spot.
After a two-hour break, the combined event will conclude with a slalom run. Times are added together between downhill and slalom to determine each athlete’s final ranking in the competition.
On paper, Shiffrin, who is the most accomplished slalom skier in history, has a distinct advantage in the second half of the event. But she’ll have to make it down the Ice River technical course cleanly, something she was unable to do in both the giant slalom and slalom competitions earlier at the 2022 Games.
“It’s a good position. In theory, it’s a good place to be.” Shiffrin said of her fifth-place ranking after the downhill. “I’m not feeling totally confident with the slalom.”
Shiffrin said the memory of skiing out at the fifth gate during the women’s slalom has continued to repeat in her mind over the last week.
“I’m going to do my best and try to relax a little bit because that’s when my best slalom skiing comes out,” she said.