After 300 days, Mikaela Shiffrin returns to the start house

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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).

[RELATED: Seven months after father’s death, Mikaela Shiffrin has a new perspective on skiing]

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.”

[RELATED: Tim Layden: Mikaela Shiffrin readies for re-emergence in familiar place during unfamiliar time]

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).

Date Event Time (ET) Network
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

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