Plagued by repeated nightmares after a brutally disappointing Beijing Olympics so far, US skier Mikaela Shiffrin said she found relief and even fun in skiing the super-G on Friday.
Having arrived at the Games as one of the main medal contenders, Shiffrin failed to finish her first two races. But on Friday she finished 0.79 seconds behind winner Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland in ninth place in the super-G.
“I had a dream last night that was just repetitive the whole night long. And I kept kind of waking up from it, and then going back to sleep. And it just kept happening that I skied out on the fifth gate,” Shiffrin told reporters.
After crashing out of the giant slalom on Monday, the 26-year-old Shiffrin, one of the world’s most successful Alpine skiers, exited at an early stage in Wednesday’s slalom race. She then choked back tears while trying to come to terms with what had happened.
During the summer Olympics in Tokyo, gymnast Simone Biles and tennis player Naomi Osaka had said the pressure and media attention got too much and weighed on their ability to perform at their highest level.
On Friday, Shiffrin said: “It’s a really big relief to be here now... I wasn’t skiing safe or anything, but I also did get to the finish. And that’s really nice for my heart to know that it’s not totally abandoning everything I thought I knew about the sport.”
Teen figure skating sensation Kamila Valieva won a gold medal in team figure skating having earlier failed a drug test and Olympic officials will fight Russia’s decision to let her compete at the Winter Games the International Testing Agency (ITA) said on Friday. The 15-year-old’s gold medal and Games future now hangs in the balance as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) attempts to draw a line in the sand over Russian doping.
The pint-sized skater is one of the youngest Olympic athletes to test positive for a banned substance. A defiant Kremlin on Friday said it was convinced Valieva’s positive drug test was a “misunderstanding”.
Sweden’s Nils van der Poel shaved more than two seconds off his own world record time to win the men’s 10,000 in 12:30.74 sec and claim his second gold of the. Dutchman Patrick Roest won silver.