Mikaela Shiffrin finishes fourth in Olympic slalom, felt under the weather

Vail skier will skip Saturday's super-G to rest for Sunday's downhill training

Ed Stoner
Vail Daily

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — After getting sick before the first run, Mikaela Shiffrin struggled to find her dominant form, ending up fourth in the slalom Friday.

Frida Hansdotter of Sweden won gold, Wendy Holdener of Switzerland took silver, and Katharina Gallhuber of Austria got bronze.

Shiffrin finished 0.40 seconds behind Hansdotter.

Shiffrin told NBC that she was “kind of puking” right before the race.

“It almost felt like a virus, less about nerves,” she told NBC. “We will see. I’m not super far off. It’s nice to have that first round out of the way.”

Shiffrin sat in fourth place, 0.48 seconds behind, after the first run.

The last time Shiffrin had trailed by a bigger margin after the first slalom run was in January 2017 in Flachau, Austria, when she was 1.38 seconds off the pace, eventually finishing fifth.

“I’m not super psyched with it,” Shiffrin said after her first run. “It was quite conservative, but I guess I got through the finish. I’m not super far off. I could be a lot cleaner for the second run, so that’s my goal.”

Shiffrin was trying to win two golds in two days, something that hadn’t been done by an American since Eric Heiden’s 1980 Games, when he won five gold medals.

A gold would have given Shiffrin the most golds of any American racer. She, Ted Ligety and Andrea Mead Lawrence all have two golds.

She’ll have another chance in the alpine combined on Feb. 23, and perhaps the downhill on Feb. 21.

Shiffrin won the giant slalom Thursday. She said Friday that she didn’t get to bed until 10 p.m. Thursday — her usual routine is to go to bed at 8:30.

“It was certainly not normal preparation,” she said. “But I also knew that going into these Olympics, it’s not normal races, it’s not normal preparation, so I have to be prepared for anything. I don’t think that in and of itself had a huge impact on my first first run today.”

Shiffrin will skip Saturday’s super-G, resting ahead of downhill training, which is set to begin Sunday.