USA alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin was knocked out of the slalom event Wednesday, just days after a similar disappointment on the slopes at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Shiffrin, 26, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, ran into trouble soon after the first run began and missed a gate early before ending her run.
She sat in the snow on the sidelines after the disappointing end Wednesday and was seen being consoled by a member of Team USA.
“I think I just slipped," Shiffrin told NBC's Todd Lewis later. "I had every intention to go full gas, and there wasn’t really space in the course to — I don’t know, to slip, not even a little bit. I didn’t give myself space for that.
“And in my experience that mentality has brought my best skiing," she said. "And today I went out on the fifth gate."
On Monday, Shiffrin crashed out of the giant slalom, denying her a chance to defend the gold she won at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. She called that setback a “huge disappointment” but vowed to move forward.
After having failed to finish her giant slalom run Monday, Shiffrin said the brutal start would stay with her forever. "I never get over it, and I won’t ever get over this, either,” she said then, but she also added that she couldn't dwell on it.
On Wednesday, Shiffrin appeared despondent.
"It makes me second-guess, like, the last 15 years, everything I thought I knew about my own skiing and slalom and racing mentality," she said. "Just processing a lot, for sure."
Shiffrin has said she wants to compete in all five individual women’s events. One of those is alpine combined, and she won silver in that event in PyeongChang, South Korea.
In addition to earning gold in the giant slalom in PyeongChang, she also won silver in alpine combined there. She took home gold in slalom at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
If Shiffrin wins gold at these Olympics, she will be the first U.S. alpine skier to win three Olympic gold medals over her career.
CORRECTION (Feb. 8, 2022, 9:58 p.m.): A headline on a previous version of this article misstated the race in which Mikaela Shiffrin was knocked out of the slalom competition. It was the first run, not a qualifying round.