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Women get rare chance to open Alpine schedule

Women get rare chance to open Alpine schedule

Women get rare chance to open Alpine schedule

When an athlete succeeds as often as Mikaela Shiffrin does, the slip-ups suddenly seem to get a lot more attention.

Not Shiffrin, though. The reigning World Cup Champion didn't become the youngest person to win an Olympic gold medal in the slalom at the 2014 Sochi Games just because of her innate talent. She admits that the last four years have passed in a haze.

"Yeah, um, I'm not sure where to start, exactly", Shiffrin said.

Not so much physically exhausted - although that is a constant factor with the daily grind of the World Cup circuit - as she was simply mentally wiped out. Four years later, she isn't just the heir apparent to Lindsey Vonn - still a medal favorite herself in her fourth and likely last Olympics - on the USA ski team, Shiffrin is poised to be the takeover star of the 2018 Games.

"Being one of the best in the world, you're going to take the majority of the pressure of all the World Cup, fans, media, everybody". Three world championships in the slalom, medals that hang in her room back home in Colorado because, she said, "I had dead space on my wall and I wanted to fill it with something, and they look pretty". It is a schedule the American herself could have scripted to maximise her chance of bagging multiple medals. But in six appearances since that run of perfection, Shiffrin finished third once, seventh twice and not completed the course on three occasions.

"I could never imagine myself even in the same sentence as Michael Phelps". "Hopefully, I'll just be thinking about the task at hand". That's the biggest issue: It's not always easy to tell.

"And then on the road, racing every weekend and sometimes in the middle of the week, and training the whole time, sometimes you end up getting a little bit worn down", he explained. "I'm not very fun to be around, and I can't focus as easily".

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"The expectations come more from myself", she said.

"Right now, we're looking at any possibility", she said. "Each one of these race results just gets stored away really quickly".

Shiffrin said she had got over a little blip this season when she disappointed in Cortina and failed to finish the Lenzerheide slalom.

She arrived in South Korea about 1½ weeks ahead of her opening race and has trained about a half-dozen times. As of mid-January, he put together a five-slalom winning streak. She said Saturday that a recent stretch of misfires was due to fatigue, and that took its toll. "To be quite simple in what I'm doing is how I get to perform better, and then I have to stay focused in the moments when I really need to", says Worley, born to a French mother and Australian father. Like most Olympians, years of consistent of hard work went into her historic win.

The casual sports fan probably knows this about Mikaela Shiffrin: She's one of the world's best skiers. "OK, he has, what, 23 medals?"

At that point, the USA coaches have the final say on who races as the best medal contender, with Shiffrin allowed the option to pull herself out of races if she doesn't feel prepared.

Shiffrin feels under no pressure to medal as a favourite. "I read this message and I was, like, that made me feel so much better", Shiffrin said.

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