Daily Camera (Boulder)

Shiffrin skips sea­son opener with back is­sue

Re­turn on hold for at least an­other month

- Sports · Extreme Sports · Skiing · Winter Sports · Vienna · Mikaela Shiffrin · Austria · Instagram · Philadelphia Union · United States of America · Bulgaria · Sweden · Solden

VI­ENNA — Mikaela Shiffrin post­poned her re­turn to World Cup ski­ing for at least an­other month on Fri­day, pulling out of next week’s sea­son-open­ing gi­ant slalom in Aus­tria with a back is­sue.

The two-time Olympic gold medal­ist and three­time over­all World Cup cham­pion, who hasn’t raced in nearly nine months, said she tweaked her back while ski­ing last week.

“I have been ad­vised to sit Soelden out to let my back heal so I can race the rest of the sea­son,” Shiffrin wrote on In­sta­gram.

The U.S. ski team added that ”Mikaela will plan to head back to the States to rest and re­cover, and her re­turn to com­pe­ti­tion is TBD.”

The next races on the World Cup cal­en­dar are two par­al­lel slaloms on Nov. 13-14 in an­other Aus­trian re­sort, Lech.

Shiffrin has strug­gled with back is­sues be­fore but never sat out a World Cup race for that rea­son.

“Hav­ing started in

Soelden for the last eight years straight, this feels... re­ally frus­trat­ing and strange (for lack of bet­ter words). Luck­ily, this in­jury will heal and I will be back in the start soon,” said Shiffrin, who fin­ished on the podium in Soelden five times in the past six years, win­ning the race in 2014.

“Okay, maybe my count­down has been de­layed, but the big count­down is ON and I can’t wait for it to start,” she added.

Shiffrin has not raced since pick­ing up her 66th ca­reer vic­tory at a su­per-g in Bul­garia on Jan. 26.

First, she re­turned home to the United States and took a five-week break fol­low­ing the death of her fa­ther, Jeff Shiffrin, in early Fe­bru­ary. And when she planned to come back at races in Swe­den in midMarch, the re­main­der of the sea­son was can­celed amid the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, with Fed­er­ica Brignone end­ing Shiffrin’s thee-year reign as over­all cham­pion.

Ear­lier this week, Shiffrin said she was won­der­ing how much time she has left in ski rac­ing, ques­tion­ing how long all the trav­el­ing and be­ing away from home will still be worth it.

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