Michaela Schiffrin’s nightmare Olympics continued in Beijing on Thursday when she stumbled through the gate and fell on the women’s snowboard. This was the third race I had failed to finish in the past two weeks.
Shiffrin showed good rhythm in the opening part of the slalom, the second half of the combined event, but after about 10 gates in the race she lost her balance as she was starting to navigate a set of gates known as flow.
Last week, Shiffrin didn’t finish her best event in the first two races of the Games, Giant Slalom and Slalom.
The transformation performance at Thursday’s Women’s Combined event, Shiffrin’s last singles event in the Games, would have marked the end of a storyline. She was well positioned in the middle of the race, one track of downhill followed by one round of slalom. What she needed next was her brand flourishing, the kind that made her a champion at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
But there was no magic in her performance on Thursday afternoon.
Winner of three medals in her five Olympic races before the Beijing Games, Shiffrin has not reached the medal podium in any of her last five Olympic races.
Switzerland’s Michel Geisen won Thursday’s race, successfully defending the Olympic title she won at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. The silver went to teammate Wendy Holdner, who trailed Geisen in just a hundredths of a second after the opening downhill portion of the race but faltered. He was ahead of Jezzine by 1.06 seconds in the second round of the slalom. This was Holdner’s fourth Olympic medal. Italy’s Federica Brignoni won the bronze. Last week, she won the silver medal in the giant slalom.
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