BEIJING -- Course queen Mikaela Shiffrin has been dethroned after falling in her first run at the giant slalom event in Beijing. His mistake cost him a chance to win gold in his best event.
Us Ski confirmed to NPR that Shiffrin is now out of the competition after failing to finish the first of two giant slalom races. The last time the two-time Olympic champion failed to finish a giant slalom was more than four years ago.
Shiffrin stalled after about 11 seconds of driving. As he sped down the mountain, he lost control and couldn't hold on to the edges of his skis. Eventually he missed a turn and fell onto his side. Several other runners similarly stumbled down the course on Monday morning.
"I felt like I was pushing and attacking pretty well. But there was just one twist, I had a little, little timing error when I really went to my edges and that makes a difference," Shiffrin said of what happened when she fell after only five laps on the course.
The quality of the snow on the field is unforgiving, he said.
“The snow was just amazing for skiing. Oh my god it's really nice but if you make little mistakes you really can't get away with it," he said. "As you can see, I got the worst of it this round."
Before the Beijing Games, Shiffrin had a good chance of winning five gold medals in each of her events. Previously, he won gold in giant slalom at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
Shiffrin noted that falls are a rarity for her.
"I was really working the right time of my shifts and I never really thought that was going to be part of the problem," he said. "Disappointment is certain."
Over the past two years, Shiffrin has been coming to terms with his father's early death in 2020, a serious back injury and a 300-day layoff due to a COVID-19 infection. The stress of these events made the slalom champion consider retiring.