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Skier Mikaela Shiffrin battling back injury in lead up to Olympics

Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Mikaela Shiffrin’s Olympic prep has hit a slight setback. The American skier told The Associated Press she has a hurt back, calling the ailment “a very severe muscle spasm or kind of a strain.”

Talking with the media via video conference from Colorado on Friday, Shiffrin admitted she hadn’t done much skiing since clinching her 70th World Cup victory on Oct. 23.

“I just need to let it heal,” she said. “It doesn’t take that long if I just take the time. But I want to be training right now.”

The hindrance comes as the 26-year-old gears up for the Winter Olympics, where Shiffrin hopes to participate in all five Alpine ski races.

“It just takes a little bit to be able to really push on my skis with full-on intensity, which is frustrating, because right now, this is the bulk of time where I would normally be training all four events.”

Shiffrin has battled back issues in the past, sitting out for a portion of last year’s season with an injury she says is different from her current spasms, but perhaps related to a fall she took at nine years old.

Despite being off the slopes since October, Shiffrin says she still plans to compete in the World Cup circuit’s races in Vermont on Nov. 27-28.