BEIJING (AP) – There was no way to predict this. Nobody, especially Michaela Shiffrin herself.
The American figure skater will go 0 to 5 in the individual competitions at the Beijing Olympics without medals and the best result in ninth place, which was previously difficult to imagine.
His failure to finish three of his alpine ski events – his best three, including Thursday’s combined – is one of the biggest surprises in these winter competitions.
“I definitely wonder a lot,” Shiffrin admitted. “I’m frustrated and frustrated.”
He came to China as one of the big stars. Three Olympic medals, two gold and one silver. Six world championships. Three World Cup titles.
However, the 26-year-old skier did not show her enviable style and talent in key moments at the National Alpine Ski Center, 90 kilometers northwest of Beijing.
“It’s very difficult for her,” admitted Paul Krestovich, USA women’s figure skating coach. “We had high expectations when we arrived and things didn’t go as we expected.”
On Thursday, she admitted she may have pushed herself too hard and left no room for error in the competition, but she wasn’t sure there was a common denominator in her mistakes either.
“The pressure is there and always there and I don’t feel embarrassed or separated from it,” she said.
His last lackluster performance came in the second half of the medley, adding uphill and slalom times.
She was the fifth fastest to land and remained in contention for the medal. What he needed and couldn’t do was stand for 50 seconds.
The problem came at Gate 10 after 10 seconds. He lost his balance and did not recover and fell on his hip.
Shiffrin was left sitting in the snow. When he shook his head and looked at the mountain as if trying to figure out what had happened.
Shiffrin later said he could imagine the people in the house thinking before the jagged part of a variety mix: “This could be the medal that keeps everything.”
But instead, he said, “I felt ridiculous.”
In the evening, Shiffrin posted two messages on Twitter – one criticizing what appeared to be social media posts, and the other in response to “people who seem to have a lot of hate”.
“Aside from finishing the Games without medals — without an individual medal — the most frustrating thing was that I had so many opportunities to skate slalom on the same track, ‘you know, I failed at all of them,’” said Shiffrin.
He now intends to compete in the team event on Saturday, when the Alpine trials calendar ends.
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