BEIJING — Mikaela Shiffrin threw her head back and laughed at the thought of entering the maximum Alpine skiing events possible at the Beijing Olympics – six – which she confirmed Tuesday she’s intending to do.

She jokingly called it “a really bad idea.”

After coming in 18th in the downhill, about 2 1/2 seconds behind gold medalist Corinne Suter of Switzerland, Shiffrin looked ahead to participating in the combined race on Thursday and the team event that wraps up the Alpine schedule on Saturday.

Her Olympics so far: She didn’t finish the giant slalom or the slalom and was ninth in the super-G, before being the second-fastest American in the downhill, one spot behind Keely Cashman.

Shiffrin’s two career Winter Games golds were in the slalom in 2014 and the giant slalom in 2018; she also earned a silver in the combined four years ago and could contend again. That discipline adds the times from one downhill run and one slalom run.

She is far less experienced in the downhill, and she talked about Tuesday’s race as if it constituted a form of preparation, calling it “another run under my belt for the coming days.”


“It’s just important to be able to compartmentalize the downhill run – fully focus on the downhill run – and then start the slalom portion of the day as if it’s a new day. And that’s really hard to do,” the 26-year-old from Colorado said. “Combined days are long and the events could not be more opposite. It’s like doing two different sports in one single day, so that’s the biggest challenge: Try to execute a downhill and then just let the downhill go and execute the slalom.”

When she is at her very best, she is among the most versatile ski racers there are. That’s part of why she has accomplished as much as she has, including three overall World Cup titles.

But Shiffrin has not produced her very best in Beijing.

“I mean, right now, nothing is guaranteed. And that’s the No. 1 lesson that I think many people learn at the Olympic Games – that there is no guarantee for anything. Not for performance or results,” she said. “But I think every day that I get on this track and I’m able to take a run, and just do a solid run top to bottom, it gives me the chance to be a little bit more calm in my mind. I tend to think way too much and that makes it hard to ski freely.”

SNOWBOARDING: Teenager Su Yiming went spinning through the air in front of the cooling towers and smokestacks of an old steel mill to win China’s first Olympic snowboarding gold medal and elevate his celebrity status.

Su had such a big lead after two rounds that other competitors played it safe, just trying to earn a podium spot. He took the silver in slopestyle and would have had gold if judges had noticed Max Parrot missing a grab on his first jump. Parrot took bronze Tuesday.


It was China’s second gold medal at Big Air Shougang following Eileen Gu’s win in freestyle skiing. Su, a 17-year-old aspiring actor who had a part in the 2014 action film “The Taking of Tiger Mountain,” led by 17.5 points entering the final round. He started the competition with consecutive 1800s – five spins – first completing the trick going forward, then backward.

Su went off casually on his last jump and then held his hands to his head during an ovation from the crowd. Su hadn’t seen his parents in seven months while training in Europe and competing around the world. Shortly after getting on the podium, Su spotted them in the stands and began to cry. He later spoke to them through a fence separating those allowed inside Beijing’s Olympic bubble from the fans.

“I was thinking back to when I was 4 years old and my first time snowboarding,” he said in English. “I’m so appreciative. This moment is so special for my family.”

SPEEDSKATING: For the second straight Olympics, Norway won gold in men’s team pursuit speedskating.

The Norwegian trio of Hallgeir Engebraaten, Peder Kongshaug and Sverre Lunde Pedersen won the gold-medal final with a time of 3 minutes, 38.08 seconds – nearly 21/2 seconds ahead of the Russian Olympic Committee.

The Russian team settled for the silver, while the United States claimed the bronze by beating the Dutch in the B final.


Canada won speedskating gold in women’s team pursuit after a skater for defending Olympic champion Japan fell on the final turn.

Japan appeared to be heading for a second straight gold medal in the event, holding a lead of about 0.3 seconds with a half lap to go. But the final athlete in the three-skater train, Nana Takagi, lost her balance and skidded into the padding coming through the final turn.

That allowed the Canadian trio of Ivanie Blondin, Valerie Maltais and Isabelle Weidemann to pull out the victory in dramatic fashion.

Canada won with an Olympic-record time of 2 minute, 53.44 seconds. The Japanese settled for silver, more than 11 seconds behind. The Netherlands beat the Russian Olympic Committee in the bronze-medal final with a time of 2:56.86. They were more than 2 seconds ahead of the Russians.

NORDIC SKIING: Norwegian favorite Jarl Magnus Riiber took the wrong turn early in the 10K cross-country race at the Olympics, a little more than 24 hours after coming out of isolation, and two teammates took advantage.

Joergen Graabak of Norway made the most of the opportunity, winning gold in Nordic combined.

Graabak rallied from a deficit of 2 minutes, 7 seconds behind Riiber at the start of the cross-country race to finish first after placing 12th in ski jumping.

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