Shiffrin goes ‘off the grid’ to recuperate after super-G win
ARE, Sweden (AP) — Following a stressful Olympic year, Mikaela Shiffrin has been scaling back her schedule at every opportunity this season.
Her latest move involved leaving the site of the world championships in Sweden soon after her super-G victory Tuesday to recharge and prepare for next week’s giant slalom and slalom.
Austrian media reported that Shiffrin left Are by helicopter for training in Trysil, Norway — forcing her ski technician to haul her equipment in a drive of six-plus hours across the border to catch up with her.
“She’s going off the grid for a bit, wants to keep it private,” the U.S. Ski Team told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Since she will not be competing in Friday’s Alpine combined race, Shiffrin has more than a week before her next events of giant slalom and slalom on Feb. 14 and 16. She is expected back in Are on Monday.
“The slalom and GS are her main goals and targets,” U.S. head coach Paul Kristofic said.
At last year’s Pyeongchang Olympics, Shiffrin got stressed out by schedule changes and postponements and followed her gold-medal performance in giant slalom with only a fourth-place finish in slalom — her best event.
Shiffrin will be a big favorite to win both the GS and slalom in Are, putting her in position to match Anja Paerson’s three-gold performance from the 2007 worlds at the same venue.
“She has the capacity to, absolutely,” Kristofic said.
Paerson actually won five medals in 2007, winning super-G, combined and downhill plus silver in the team event and bronze in the slalom.
Shiffrin won’t compete in Sunday’s downhill or Tuesday’s team event.
“She’s competitive in everything she starts,” Kristofic said. “It’s outstanding and astonishing and it’s hard to put into words. … It’s a huge challenge and she’s up for it all the time.”