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PYEONGCHANG — On top of a windswept mountain 6,000 miles from her Colorado home, skier Mikaela Shiffrin waited and waited and waited some more for the race of her life. Instead of racing for gold, she got stuck going nowhere fast.

The slalom competition was postponed here Wednesday by blowing snow and light so fuzzy-gray flat it was impossible for Shiffrin to see clearly whether to turn right or left through the maze of gates, much less navigate which path to take with her life.

Hellacious winds forced the second postponed race for Shiffrin within 72 hours. Her Olympic debut is now scheduled, if the fickle and fierce weather in South Korea permits, for Thursday in the giant slalom (late Wednesday in Denver time). Her quest for one two or more medals at the Winter Games has morphed from a test of physical and mental stamina to an exercise in managing the anxiety of repeatedly putting on and taking off her game face. Cue up the old Tom Petty song. The waiting is the hardest part.

Shiffrin is the best ski racer in the world. But she’s not Lindsey Vonn, a crossover star as big on the Hollywood red carpet or the supermarket tabloids as on the hills on the World Cup circuit.

Shiffrin loves the feeling of pulling those G’s while carving her skis across the snow. But does she truly like taking star turns, smiling for the camera to deliver a soundbite? Shiffrin does not seem nearly so certain about all that jazz accompanying the bright lights of superstardom.

Let me cite Shiffrin’s entrance to the Olympic news conference in a packed theater at the outset of the Winter Games. The 21-year-old skier from EagleVail peered into hundreds of eyes staring back at her, looked at a table suitable …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports

      

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