FILE PHOTO: Alpine Skiing – FIS Ski World Cup – Women’s Slalom – Are, Sweden – March 13, 2021 Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. in action with during the women’s slalom race TT News Agency via REUTERS/Pontus Lundahl/tt
March 19, 2021
(Reuters) – Mikaela Shiffrin said she may have to adjust her schedule to stay fit for next year’s winter Olympics in Beijing after missing the start of this season due to a back injury.
American Shiffrin is hoping to add to the two Olympic gold medals and a silver she won from Sochi and Pyeongchang in 2014 and 2018 but a niggling back problem means the 26-year-old’s focus is also on prolonging her career.
“We’re definitely going to take that into account going into next season, not only for the Olympics but just for my longevity in my career,” Shiffrin told reporters from Lenzerheide, where the World Cup Finals are taking place this week.
“Because, for sure, the Olympics is a target, but a bigger target would be to say, not only I can compete at the Olympics, but I can just compete regularly.”
Shiffrin, a triple World Cup overall champion, missed the season-opening giant slalom in October with a back problem and marked her return with a second-placed finish in a slalom in Finland in November before claiming four more world championship medals in Cortina d’Ampezzo last month.
“What I found this season is it’s taken a little while longer to get my back, or body as a whole, in ski specific conditioning shape to not feel sore constantly,” she said.
“After I got things back under control with a lot of therapy and rehab, it seems like it’s been quite manageable this season and I’m hoping that’s going to continue.
“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I keep it under control… Hopefully, I’ll be able to manage preparation throughout the summer and roll through the Olympics without having to adjust the schedule.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)