Mikaela Shiffrin didn’t get a medal. She didn’t come particularly close.
But the star American skier can at least say she finished a race at the Beijing Olympics following two disastrous runs earlier in the week. Shiffrin’s run at the Super-G checked in at a 1:14.30. She’ll compete in the combined and team events as well.
Shiffrin wasn’t a favorite for gold in the Super-G even before skiing out twice earlier this week. After those disastrous results, which set off a media firestorm and caused Shiffrin to question whether it was worthwhile to even race in the Super-G, the question was whether she could finish her run as much as whether she could compete for a medal.
She closed her eyes and swung her arms before putting her goggles on, nerves emanating. She got the hill and took a deep breath. Then another. Then another. She clapped her poles together. Then she did what she hadn’t yet done in these Olympics: got down the hill.
It wasn’t her best, but at this point, though, for Shiffrin, it was about beating the yips, getting down the hill. Back to square one.
She checked that box. And that unto itself had been anything but a guarantee.