Alpine World Ski Championships: Shiffrin annoyed by the hail of questions

Olympic drama, World Cup false start: After the silver medal in Super-G, Mikaela Shiffrin is relieved and without annoying questions in the next World Cup races.

At the end of a day that Mikaela Shiffrin was so “filled with emotions” that there was “so much I want to say,” the ski queen decided: The “most moving” thing was Elena Fanchini’s death. The former ski racer passed away from cancer on Wednesday and Shiffrin felt it necessary to offer her condolences to an Italian skiing family who have “had a profound impact on our sport and our world with their passion and kindness”.

Putting events into perspective is obviously a need for Shiffrin. So she had wanted to make one thing clear hours before, once and for all. For “two, four weeks”, no, “actually for a year”, she reported, she had to “answer about a hundred questions, whether I’m afraid of being disappointed again”, that is: whether she was after her personal drama at the Olympic Games in Beijing I am afraid of not being able to win a medal at this World Cup either.

The questions only annoyed the best female ski racer in history, and she made it perfectly clear when the constant prodding and digging finally became unfounded. “I said before the World Cup: I survived the Olympics, it won’t kill me if I don’t get a medal here,” Shiffrin said emphatically – and only shortly after the moment when she was a happy second in the World Cup Super-G climbed onto the podium.

Shiffrin also felt the need to explain that the constant questioning had cast doubt on her: “It’s so hard to keep your balance in your head, to stay positive and to tell yourself you can do it.” When she hadn’t made it to the finish in the combined slalom at the start of the World Cup, she thought: “Are you kidding me? Am I really scared now?” And at the start of the Super-G she thought: “Can I do it? No, probably not. Although… we’ll see.”

No, Shiffrin said, “the pressure isn’t gone” after the medal, but “it’s a relief, it’s exciting,” after all, she didn’t think she could drive “such a good Super-G”. Means: Mikaela Shiffrin has shown Mikaela Shiffrin that she can still do it – and to all the others that she will survive this World Cup. Maybe she will do that now with a few more medals.