Shiffrin is latest elite skier to test positive for COVID-19

PARK CITY, Utah — Two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin is the latest elite skier to test positive for COVID-19, with the Beijing Games less than six weeks away.

“I wanted to let you all know that I’m doing well, but unfortunately, I had a positive COVID test,” the American athlete wrote on her social media accounts Monday. “I’m following protocol and isolating.”

Shiffrin said she will miss the World Cup giant slalom and slalom races scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, in Lienz, Austria, adding, “I’ll see you in the new year.”

The Beijing Olympics open on Feb. 4.

Missing the races in Lienz is a big hit to Shiffrin’s chances of regaining the overall World Cup title. She leads Italy’s Sofia Goggia by 115 points in the standings. Still, She needs to maintain a high level of points in the technical disciplines of giant slalom and slalom since Goggia has been virtually unbeatable in the speed events of downhill and super-G.

Shiffrin’s positive test comes at a particularly bad time for her, with six consecutive technical races scheduled.

Other top skiers who have missed races recently after testing positive for COVID-19 include former overall champion Lara Gut-Behrami, Austrian world champion Katharina Liensberger and Alice Robinson of New Zealand.

Last week, Maryna Gąsienica-Daniel, the Polish skier who finished sixth in two giant slaloms in Courchevel, France, also announced a positive test on Monday. She said on Instagram that she is “isolated at home,” and she, too, will miss the races in Lienz. Gąsienica-Daniel adds that she is “sad” but otherwise “feeling good.”

Liensberger and Robinson, who both had to sit out Courchevel, are back on the starting list for Tuesday’s race in Lienz. Gut-Behrami remains out after her positive case was announced ten days ago.

Also, chief race director Peter Gerdol is among two women’s World Cup officials with the International Ski Federation (FIS) who tested positive after the races in Courchevel. FIS race director Markus Mayr is replacing Gerdol for the event in Lienz, where no spectators will be allowed.

Shiffrin’s Olympic record includes two golds — in slalom at the 2014 Sochi Games and giant slalom at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games — plus a silver in combined in 2018.

Shiffrin finished first and second in the last two races she competed in — the two giant slaloms in Courchevel.

The next women’s World Cup race after Lienz is a slalom in Zagreb, Croatia, on Jan. 4.

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