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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:00 am

Wind alters Shiffrin's race lineup

HOWARD FENDRICH | Associated Press

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Mikaela Shiffrin's pursuit of gold at the Olympics will start on a different day than everyone expected – and in a different event, the slalom, her forte.

Of course, that's assuming they ever get around to doing any racing at all in Alpine skiing. Each of the first two contests were postponed because of dangerous winds that exceeded 25 mph and the forecast predicts more of the same today and Wednesday.

“I am pretty sure,” men's race director Markus Waldner said Monday, “that soon, we will have a race.”

The latest schedule change came Monday, when the women's giant slalom was shelved less than three hours before it was supposed to start. That followed Sunday's postponement of the men's downhill.

Now both of those races will be run Thursday. The women will compete at the Yongpyong Alpine Center used for technical races, and the men will be about 30 miles away at the Jeongseon Alpine Center used for speed races.

The men's super-G, originally set for Thursday, has been switched to Friday.

The giant slalom would have been Shiffrin's debut at these Winter Games. Instead, she will begin Wednesday – weather permitting – in the slalom, a race she has dominated for five years, and then ski again the next day. 

Shiffrin is the defending champion in the slalom and will be trying to become the first man or woman to win that Olympic gold twice in a row.

The 22-year-old American is considered a medal favorite in slalom and giant slalom, a strong contender in the combined and a possible entrant in the other two women's individual races, the downhill and super-G.

“It's a bummer that we're not able to race today,” she said. “But with the training block I've had, I'm prepared and feeling good.”