Mikaela Shiffrin is still 0 for the Olympics in Beijing. She was expansive and introspective, something she has had a lot of practice in being these past two weeks, as she tried to process her most recent fail.
Shiffrin was disqualified Thursday for a third time in five individual events after she missed a gate and crashed in the giant slalom portion of the women’s combined.
“I don’t know if anybody’s failed that hard, with so many opportunities, maybe in the history of the Olympics,” the U.S. Alpine skiing star said in her postrace interview with NBC.
BEIJING OLYMPICS: How many gold medals does USA have?
Shiffrin was left searching again for the words to describe why she couldn’t execute. She was more upbeat compared to her devastated state after the first two crashes, but this postmortem wasn’t easy, either.
“I was just trying to get my feet a little bit of space, trying to get my rhythm,” she told NBC. “I got my rhythm, I accelerated off the pitch. Everything there was just exactly in line with what I wanted to feel, what my best slalom can produce. And I don’t know if it was combination of driver error, maybe a small little track in the snow, and maybe I can’t see it or didn’t react quick enough.”
Shiffrin was fifth after the downhill portion and figured to threaten for a medal as she skied in the discipline in which she won Olympic gold four years ago. But as in the giant slalom and slalom earlier in the games, she failed to get down the hill.
Once more, she tried to talk through it.
“I had some really great, like, some of the best skiing I’ve ever done, here, in Beijing, in the training, in the downhill over the last week, in my slalom even today, and on the race, in the moment, when it counts, then I didn’t make it to the finish, and that’s never happened in my entire career,” she told NBC. “So I don’t understand it, but there was so much positive that’s happened in the last couple weeks despite how much it really stinks.
“I don’t know. Sometimes you have to take it. I don’t know. You just have to take it, I guess.”