BEIJING (AP) – Michael Shifrin crossed the finish line four times on Sunday. At the end of the parallel course, he hugged his teammates and hid with them under a duvet.
The Austrians won and the Americans left the stage. But even after such a tumultuous Olympics, Schiffrin’s time was as good as gold.
“It’s a special feeling, a very positive and positive feeling that I have experienced all the time we have been here,” he said.
Schiffrin and the American mixed ski team lost the medal by 0.42 seconds after losing to Norway in the bronze medal match on Sunday. Short defeat, two-time gold medalist would leave China empty-handed, but after a series of accidents at the Beijing Games, Schiffrin was in good shape after a strong American display.
“I had a lot of frustrating moments in those games, and today is not one of them,” Schiffrin said. “My sweet memory today.”
The top-ranked Austrians beat Germany in the final of the second edition of the Winter Games in a mixed-team event to win gold.
The United States fielded Schiff very slowly in parallel courses, and he lost three of his four sets, including the bronze medal game against Norway. Teammate River Rhythmus had the victory the United States needed to draw 2-2 in the final set, but he was not fast enough to break the tie – the times when the fastest man and woman combined – in favor of the United States.
“The river, that is, we look down at you, gives us confidence that you are skiing so hard, and that is the greatest asset you can offer us,” Schiffrin told Radamese.
Schiffrin won 0 out of 5 in the individual medal auction in Beijing. He finished in only two individual events, finishing ninth in the Super-G and eighth down, his two worst matches. He scored five goals in the giant slalom, five goals in the slalom and 10 goals in the slalom area of the two-heat mix.
“I would say it was my teammates who took me to this Olympics,” he said. “I want to thank you for that.”
The 26-year-old Schifrin defeated Slovakia’s Rebecca Jankova to complete the giant slalom course effortlessly on the first lap – one of the few victories of the slow red skaters throughout the day. Radamese and Paula Moldson won their innings by an even greater margin as the United States advanced.
Schiffrin lost in the quarterfinals to Marta Pacino of Italy by a margin of 2 hundredth of a second from the red line. The sixth-placed Americans advanced with a 3-1 defeat against third-place finishers.
In the semifinals, Schiffrin was narrowly defeated by Lena Toure of Germany. Tommy Ford failed to win the final at the Red Road, beating the Americans to a bronze medal.
“I don’t think we can stress how good it is to be here and chase a medal,” Schiffrin said. “I understand people will say we’ve failed, but the thing is, our team is coming from the United States and competing in the European-dominated game … which is amazing.”
Austria also drew against the Germans in the final, but Stefan Brennsteiner and Katharina Liensberger won their heats at a time when they were faster than Duer and Alexander Schmidt. Austria won the silver medal at the Pyongyang Games four years ago.
Austria’s Johannes Strolls won individual medals and silver in slalom, winning three medals in Beijing a year after he was dropped from the country team.
“I am so grateful and happy to have achieved this with my team,” he said.
The mixed group event was postponed for a day on Saturday as skiers at 65km / h were pushed off the slopes. Schiffrin and most of the U.S. team were due to leave China early Sunday morning, but the group changed their plans to stay at the event. Many skiers may be excited about starting the World Cup again next weekend with the women in Switzerland and the men in Germany.
Schiffer leads the World Cup overall standings and said he left the city to prioritize recovery.
“Some people absolutely thought that 24 hours made a difference between using and using that energy consistently,” he said. “I decided to stay because I wanted to compete with my teammates.”
On Sunday the situation was mild and windy at 48 kmph, but the temperature dropped to minus 3 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 degrees Celsius). Skiers certainly gathered in white duvets brought from their rooms.
The mixed-team event has attracted more interest from the best skiers of the game because they do not like the design and the end of the games are very close. When the mixed team debuted in 2018, 15 of that year’s 23 individual medalists, including Schiffrin, dropped out.
That year, only the Strolls competed in Alpine’s 10 gold medals. Only 15 teams registered, leaving Austria No. 1 in the first round and winning one bag.
“There are things to sort out with the logistics of this event,” Schiffrin said. “There are still things to work on, but I think we were all so excited to compete together. You don’t get it often.
This is a growing story, stay tuned to learn more.
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