This weekend, two-time Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin will step into the start house for the first time in exactly 300 days.
“I’m excited to race,” she told reporters during a conference call on Thursday. “I feel like racing is going to be a break… like going on a vacation, which is not really how I used to think about it. Right now I’m just grateful to be here.”
Since her father’s death in February, Shiffrin has attempted to return to the World Cup circuit twice: first in March (the races were ultimately cancelled due to COVID-19) and then again in October (when a back injury kept her from competing).
As she prepares for her long-awaited return to the slopes, Shiffrin also knows her 2020-21 racing schedule will likely look different than past years.
“Every single race is a decision. Is it worth it to do the extra travel?” “Not only is it a personal risk, but it’s also a choice you have to make to say, ‘I’m going to set everything else in my life aside because I don’t want to risk anyone else, either.”
Shiffrin’s goals – guided by her upbringing in the sport – have always been focused on quality over quantity, focused training over competition. And while a lot has changed for Shiffrin – and the world at-large – in the last 300 days, her focus is still on “making good turns.”
“As far as my standards for this race, my goals or expectations… I want to keep the level of the skiing high,” Shiffrin explained. “I want to ski well, which includes skiing fast. And I know that I can.”
HOW TO WATCH SHIFFRIN’S WORLD CUP RETURN:
In addition to the televised coverage below, the first and second runs of each slalom will also stream live on Peacock Premium (available here).
|11/21/2020||Women’s Slalom – Levi, Finland||6:45 a.m.||Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA|
|Women’s Slalom – Levi, Finland (same-day delay)||12 a.m.||NBCSN|
|11/22/2020||Women’s Slalom – Levi, Finland||6:45 a.m.||Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA|
|11/28/2020||Women’s Slalom – Levi, Finland (taped)||3 p.m.||NBC|
|11/29/2020||Women’s Slalom – Levi, Finland (taped)||2:30 p.m.||NBC|