Two-time Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin missed a gate early in her race during the women's slalom event Wednesday (Tuesday ET), disqualifying her from the second straight race at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Afterward, a clearly dejected and stunned Shiffrin sat on the slope, just off the course, before giving an emotional interview with NBC's Todd Lewis.
"I had every intention to go full gas." she said through tears. "... This makes me second-guess, like, the last 15 years, everything I thought I knew about my own skiing, in slalom, and my own racing mentality."
Shiffrin failed to finish in the giant slalom Monday. It was the first time in 30 races and four years that she did not finish a giant slalom event. She won gold in the giant slalom in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
"I won't ever get over this," the 26-year-old told reporters Monday. "I've never gotten over any."
Wednesday's DNF result was just as surprising. Shiffrin won gold in the event at the 2014 Sochi Games. And posting back-to-back DNFs was downright shocking.
Gymnast Simone Biles and former Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn expressed their support for Shiffrin after the race:
lindsey vonn @lindseyvonn
Gutted for <a href="https://twitter.com/MikaelaShiffrin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MikaelaShiffrin</a> but this does not take away from her storied career and what she can and will accomplish going forward. Keep your head high ❤️ <a href="https://t.co/fSgqSii0JA">pic.twitter.com/fSgqSii0JA</a>
There is plenty of time for redemption for the three-time Olympic medalist, three-time World Cup overall champion and six-time world champion at Beijing. Shiffrin came to the 2022 Games with the intention of entering all five women's Alpine events, giving her three more cracks at a medal.
"A very aggressive game plan," Shiffrin acknowledged in November. "I don't know if that's going to work."
The downhill, super-G and combined events remain.
If one of them is a gold, she will be the first Alpine skier from the United States ever to claim three Olympic golds. Shiffrin might yet make history in these Games. But she'll have to battle through the adversity of the past few days to do so.