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AFP
November 22, 2020

Shiffrin shines to finish second

Sports

AFP
November 22, 2020

LEVI, Finland: US ski star Mikaela Shiffrin shrugged off a near 10-month absence which she described as “sad and stressful” to finish second behind Petra Vlhova in the World Cup slalom at the Finnish resort of Levi on Saturday.

“It’s been 300 days since she was last in the start gate, and she didn’t miss a beat,” the US Ski and Snowboard Team tweeted.

The three-time overall World Cup winner was all set for a fourth consecutive overall World Cup title when she ended last season abruptly after the sudden death of her father.

A bad back then forced the 25-year-old to skip the season-opener in Soelden.

Shiffrin was just 15 hundredths of a second behind Slovakia’a Vlhova in the first run.

Vlhova, who capitalised on Shiffrin’s absence earlier in the year by claiming the discipline’s crystal globe, was quickest again in the second run to finish 0.18 seconds ahead of Shiffrin overall and secure her 15th World Cup victory.

“After everything that has happened it is really cool to just ski a race and get a podium,” said Shiffrin who admitted that the 10 months since her father Jeff died had been a dark period.

“It’s been busy and sad and stressful and not a lot of training. So it’s been really hard to imagine being here again and racing and being on the podium,” she said.

“I almost didn’t dare to imagine it. I didn’t want to be disappointed about that.. it seems so stupid about not being on the podium when other really bad things can happen and are happening.

“So I have been trying to keep my priorities straight, a pretty interesting 300 days.”

Shiffrin said that over the past months she had wanted to “figure out” whether she wanted to carry on skiing and “move forward” with life.

“There is a name for when you go through a really big tragedy and afterwards there are some pieces of your life that are a little bit better than before because your priorities change.”