It's primary characteristic may be unpredictability.
"We will see. I'm not super far off".
Friday morning offered a stern reminder for Shiffrin and the world just how hard this medal pursuit could be. What's not to like? Svindal, 35, is the oldest man to win Olympic gold in Alpine skiing.
"I'm bad at that", Shiffrin said when asked about moving on.
"In that first run today, I had no feel", Shiffrin told reporters afterward.
She needs to shake off the disappointment in time for her next event, which could either be the downhill on Wednesday, or if she chooses to skip that race, the combined event (slalom and downhill) on Friday. She could medal in either or both.
Sometimes the secret to good reporting is simply being there, even if you'd rather not.
Definitely looked refreshed in the giant slalom, with which she contends she has "a love-hate relationship" because it doesn't come as naturally as the slalom. There have been seven slalom races staged on the World Cup circuit this season. The top three spots went to athletes from Korea, Russia, and Great Britain.
The giant slalom was supposed to be held Monday but was postponed until Thursday because of blustery conditions at the Pyeongchang Games. Slalom was unquestionably her best.
As usual, Shiffrin took a between-run nap.
She suggested her disappointing first run could have stemmed in part from fatigue. "I'm not super psyched about it". Given her standards, that made sense.
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The biggest surprise was Shiffrin finishing fourth.
The task, before traveling to South Korea, was to get out a jack and put them back on.
"I know that this is going to sound so arrogant", Shiffrin told journalists - and adopting a quiet voice, she continued: "I know that I'm the best slalom skier in the world". Reigning champion and favourite Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), aiming to become the first person to successfully defend an Olympic slalom title, was a surprising fourth at the conclusion of the first run.
But competing in multiple disciplines means training in multiple disciplines.
Shiffrin's subpar day, however, also carries consequences.
- Norway's Johannes Thingnes Boe won his first gold medal of the Winter Games in the 20-kilometer race after the world's top biathlete, Frenchman Martin Fourcade, surprisingly missed on his final two shots.
"It's an incredible feeling to know that my best effort is good enough". Her mother (and coach) Eileen Shiffrin explained to the USA Today that Mikaela needs a day of rest before continuing her Olympic run. "But, yeah, we'll see". But by then, it was too late, because she was so excited to race. 'I can do parallel.
Mikaela will return to compete in the Ladies' Downhill even on February 21, as well as the Ladies' Alpine Combined on February 23. Friday: no medal, slalom.
Shiffrin still has a shot at at least two more gold medals if she decides to compete in the downhill.
Maybe. And just maybe Shiffrin can make the schedule work for her now, after wind delays forced the postponement earlier in the week of both the giant slalom and the slalom. "It's not normal preparation for races".