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Mikaela Shiffrin Looks to Regain Her Confidence After Two Mistakes

“Right now I would really like to call him,” she said. “He would probably tell me to just get over it, but he is not here to say that so on top of everything else I am pretty angry at him, too.”

This is the third Olympic Games for Shiffrin, and the expectations, self-imposed and external, have grown each time. In Sochi, Russia, in 2014, she was already the best slalom skier in the world but she was also the 18-year-old Olympic rookie, with a long career ahead of her.

Four years later in Pyeongchang, South Korea, she had begun to contend in the speed events. She tried, fruitlessly, to quiet chatter about her winning medals in every event. Ultimately, bad weather and a shifting schedule limited her racing, but she won the giant slalom, just missed the podium in slalom, then returned to win the silver in combined, which is one run of downhill and one run of slalom, offering a chance for her versatility to shine.

How she performs next at these Games is anyone’s guess.

Though she has won a world championship in super-G and trained on the mountain Thursday, the speed events are not her specialty. She took years to “learn to fly” — a term skiers use to describe the adjustment to high-speed, jump-infused speed events — and the treachery and danger of those races are not a natural fit with her personality. At this point, though, merely finishing a race could be seen as a triumph.

Paula Moltzan, Shiffrin’s teammate, who finished eighth Wednesday, said she was certain Shiffrin would soon be back “skiing stronger than ever and faster than ever.” Shiffrin texted Moltzan a note of support before her second run.

“It’s a brutal sport, with major injuries and major disappointments,” said Moltzan, who added that the tentative plan was for Shiffrin to ski in a team event with her at the end of the Games.

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