Mikaela Shiffrin will leave the Beijing Olympics without a medal after Team USA finished fourth in the mixed team parallel skiing event. The Americans lost out on the bronze medal to Norway in a tiebreak.
“I am not disappointed,” Shiffrin said after the race. “I have had a lot of disappointing moments at these Games; today is not one of them. Today is my favorite memory. This was the best possible way that I could imagine ending the Games, skiing with such strong teammates.”
Austria won gold in the event, while Germany took silver. Defending champion Switzerland was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Shiffrin has had a difficult Olympics. Despite competing in every alpine skiing event, she uncharacteristically skied out of the giant slalom, slalom and alpine combined races and did not finish those races. If she had won a medal, she would have tied Julia Mancuso for the most medals by an American woman in alpine skiing.
Throughout the Olympics, Shiffrin has been open about her struggles.
“I don’t really understand it, and I’m not sure when I’m going to have much of an explanation. I can’t explain to you how frustrated I am to not know what I can learn from today,” Shiffrin said after her third DNF.
On Sunday, Shiffrin competed first for the American team in the opening round. She won the race in her first completed slalom run of the Games. She later lost in her races against Italy, Germany and Norway, but finished all three runs cleanly.
“There is so much about this event that just hangs in the balance, and today with wind, as well, there’s just too much that you have to hope for good karma or good luck or whatever,” Shiffrin said. “You just hope to do the very best you can and control the things you can, and these guys did very top level of skiing and we were that close to getting a medal today; and that is a testament to the work everybody has done this entire time, years leading up to these Games. It’s not just today.”
Shiffrin made history by becoming just the second woman to compete in all five alpine events at the Olympics. Petra Vlhová did so in 2018, the first year of the team event.