Two-time Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin is unable to ski and prepare as she currently wants due to a sore back which she compared to “a very severe muscle spasm or strain” in an interview with the Associated Press on Friday.
Speaking via video conference from Edwards, Colorado, the alpine ski star said she has “not really been able to ski at all” since October 23, when she won the inaugural giant slalom in Sölden, Austria, for victory number 70. of the World Cup in his career.
Shiffrin, who is anticipated to be one of the main faces at the Winter Olympics in February, already owns three medals from the last Winter Olympics, along with three global World Cup titles. She has the third-best win total in World Cup history, behind only Lindsey Vonn and Ingemar Stenmark.
“I just need to let it heal. It doesn’t take long if I take the time. But I want to be training right now. So I take a day, and then I say, ‘Okay, maybe that’s enough; I can go out and ski.’ Then I go out skiing and take a few turns, and I say, ‘Oh, it’s very painful,’ “” said the 26-year-old American. “It takes just a little bit to push on my skis with full intensity, which is frustrating, because right now, it is most of my time that I would normally be training for all four events.”
His goal is to register for each individual race in Beijing: slalom, giant slalom, downhill, super-G and the combined (which adds the times of the descent and the slalom).
“It’s a game of patience to be able to get back to the snow at maximum intensity,” said Shiffrin. “Your ability to do that ski at a higher level – you start to lose that ability again, so you have to keep reaching that higher level. And I haven’t been able to do it since Sölden.”
Shiffrin said the problem is different from the back injury that kept her off the World Cup tracks last season – although she did say that she thinks the two are connected, in the sense that she traces any of her problems. current related to the spine with a fall that he experienced at age 9.
She will tackle her upcoming events on the fly, depending on how her body progresses, but said she does not anticipate missing any of the World Cup races she was scheduled to run. That includes the circuit stop in Killington, Vermont on November 27 and 28, which Shiffrin said she “can’t imagine skipping” (she went to school at Burke Mountain Academy in that state).
“The only thing that is really in doubt for me right now would be Lake Louise, but I really want to get there,” Shiffrin said of the December 3-5 sprint events in Canada. “Hopefully in the next 24 hours, it starts to feel like I can go out into the mountains and do good preparation. And once we are there, we will be back, so it should not be anything to write home about.”
And then he paused before adding, “Hopefully.”