Mikaela Shiffrin hasn't gotten the results she was hoping for at the Beijing Olympics, but she's still sharing the love and support she's received from those around her — including from a recent competitor.
After racing to a top-five finish in the first leg of the women's alpine combined, Shiffrin spoke about the skis she used for the downhill race, which belong to Italy's Sofia Goggia. Since both athletes are sponsored by ski manufacturer Atomic, they can use a shared pool of skis. Goggia, who won a silver medal in women's downhill on Tuesday just weeks after suffering a partial ACL tear, wasn't competing in the alpine event, so Shiffrin tried them out in training on Wednesday.
They clearly worked, propelling Shiffrin through the downhill course in 1:32.98, the fifth-best time of the field and 0.56 seconds back of Austria’s Christine Scheyer in the top spot. Shiffrin skied out in the slalom portion a couple of hours later, preventing her from having a chance at the podium for the individual event.
But while Shiffrin was grateful for the loan, she may have been even more appreciative of the other thing Goggia left her.
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"She actually wrote a small message on them, on a sticky note," Shiffrin said. "I saw them at the start and I almost started crying, like you know, “you can fly on these skis.”
The U.S. Ski Team shared a photo of Shiffrin with the note, which actually and concisely read "FLY MIKA, YOU CAN."
While the time in the first half had placed Shiffrin in a good position ahead of her signature portion of the combined, the slalom, she said before the race she was still wary after earlier events in which she went out early.
"I have a recurring image of myself skiing out on the fifth gate again. I just I’m gonna do my best and try to relax a little bit because that’s when my best slalom skiing comes out and that’s what I would have the most fun."
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
Watch all the action from the Beijing Olympics live on NBC