Olympic skier from the United States Michaela Shiffrin refuses to engage more in media at the Games in Beijing

Olympic skier from the United States Michaela Shiffrin refuses to engage more in media at the Games in Beijing

American Olympic alpine skier Michaela Shiffrin refuses to give any interviews at the Beijing Games after bursting into tears in an interview with NBC after Wednesday’s embarrassing suspension.

Considered one of the top contenders for the U.S. team’s medals, Shiffrin was twice disqualified for early mistakes in slalom and giant slalom— competitions she won at the 2014 and 2018 Games, respectively.

Without pointing the finger at NBC, which has faced criticism for Covering Shiffrin, a spokesperson for Team USA told the media that the awarded skier has now done away with the media.

“Michaela (nor her mother/coach Eileen) will be involved in any media for the foreseeable future,” the statement said. “Thank you for respecting her/their personal space right now.”

It is still expected to compete in Friday’s Super-G race.

Shiffrin’s boyfriend, Norwegian skier Aleskander Aamodt Kilde, described her as “in good condition; she’s fine.

“She’s a hero and she’ll handle it. She’s coping with pressure like no other and that’s where she’s going to get out of,” said Kilde, who won a silver medal thursday in the Alpine combination. “But it’s been a couple of hard days.”

Michaela Shiffrin (pictured) refuses to give any interviews at the Beijing Games after her tearful exchange with NBC after Wednesday's disappointing suspension.

Michaela Shiffrin (pictured) refuses to give any interviews at the Beijing Games after her tearful exchange with NBC after Wednesday’s disappointing suspension.

A visibly shocked Michaela Shiffrin struggled to explain her second shocking crash from this week's Olympic ski race, admitting to reporters that her performance at the 2022 Beijing Games could already be considered a "really big disappointment."

A visibly shocked Michaela Shiffrin struggled to explain her second shocking crash from this week’s Olympic ski race, admitting to reporters that her performance at the 2022 Beijing Games could already be considered a “really big disappointment.”

Shiffrin reacted to her second disqualification at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Shiffrin reacted to her second disqualification at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

NBC’s coverage of Shiffrin’s second suspension has come under fire for focusing so intently on her frustration. Some spectators compared this to a tough focus on gymnast Simone Biles, whose mental health problems prompted her to withdraw from some competitions at last year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Shiffrin lasted just five seconds before things went awry in the first race of Wednesday’s two-stage slalom, which was about half as much as the two-time U.S. gold medalist remained on the track Monday in the first race of the two-stage giant slalom.

“I think I just slipped,” Shiffrin told NBC on Wednesday. “I mean, I had the full intention of giving full throttle and there wasn’t really a place to … I don’t know, slip, even a little. I didn’t give myself a place to do that.

“It makes me doubt that over the past 15 years, everything I’ve known about my ski thinking, slalom and racing,” she continued during an emotional interview. “I just handle a lot for sure. And I feel really bad. There’s a lot more going on today than just my little situation, but I feel really bad about it.”

She began to lose her balance and got out of control after just four seconds and four gates, straying too far as she turned to the right. The neon-yellow handle of her right ski pole scraped through the snow as it was far from the fifth gate. Shiffrin walked to the edge of the track, snapped her skis and plopped to the ground, shaking her head, then placed it on her arms resting on her bent knees.

She began to lose her balance and got out of control after just four seconds and four gates, straying too far as she turned to the right. The neon-yellow handle of her right ski pole scraped through the snow as it was far from the fifth gate. Shiffrin walked to the edge of the track, snapped her skis and plopped to the ground, shaking her head, then placed it on her arms on her bent knees.

She began to lose her balance and got out of control after just four seconds and four gates, straying too far as she turned to the right. The neon-yellow handle of her right ski pole scraped through the snow as it was far from the fifth gate. Shiffrin walked to the edge of the track, snapped her skis and plopped to the ground, shaking her head, then placed it on her arms on her bent knees.

Shiffrin arrived with plans to compete in all five individual races at the Yanqing Ski Center, and another gold would make her the second woman to win at least one race in alpine skiing at three consecutive Olympic Games. So far, Shiffrin is 0-on-2.

Shiffrin arrived with plans to compete in all five individual races at the Yanqing Ski Center, and another gold would make her the second woman to win at least one race in alpine skiing at three consecutive Olympic Games. So far, Shiffrin is 0-on-2.

Michaela Shiffrin of the United States sits on the edge of the track after skiing in the first race of the women's slalom at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Michaela Shiffrin of the United States sits on the edge of the track after skiing in the first race of the women’s slalom at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Team members comfort Michaela Shiffrin of the United States after she skied in the first race of the women's slalom at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Team members comfort Michaela Shiffrin of the United States after she skied in the first race of the women’s slalom at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

NBC offered full protection for the way he covered her shocking Olympic fire, to the point of suggesting that there was sexism in the criticism.

NBC cameras focused most of the time on Shiffrin as she sat alone on the track with her head bowed for more than 20 minutes. The network aired a rough interview in which she struggled with tears and said she doubted everything she had done in 15 years.

For the second time in a row, the emotional health of athletes performing on the biggest stage has been the subject of discussion. The experiences of gymnast Simone Biles and tennis player Naomi Osaka last summer were fresh in the minds of NBC critics, and the online response was furious.

As one Twitter response puts it, “Show a little empathy.” NBC, according to another, “shamed” Shiffrin — “tortured” her. “The relentless machine of hype,” one critic wrote, “made another sacrifice.”

No — NBC was doing its job, said Molly Solomon, executive producer of NBC’s coverage of the Olympics.

“We have a commitment at this moment, as an Olympics broadcaster, to cover this moment,” Solomon told The Associated Press wednesday night. “There is no scenario when there is a vaipout or a fall on the track in figure skating. We’re watching real people with real emotions in real time, and we’ve done everything we had to do.”

Former Olympic skier Lindsay Vonn advised Shiffrin to "keep her head high" in a post-race tweet.

Former Olympic skier Lindsay Vonn advised Shiffrin to “keep her head high” in a post-race tweet.

According to her, Shiffrin’s performance was a huge news story – the biggest history of the Games at the moment.

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and if Joe Burrow or Matthew Stafford are sitting on the sidelines 22 minutes after sunday’s Super Bowl, you can bet the cameras will stay on them,” Solomon said.

“It’s 2022 and we have double standards in covering women’s sports,” she said. “Women’s sport should be analyzed through the same prism as men’s. The most famous skier in the world did not finish in her two best competitions. So, we’re going to show her sitting on a hill and analyze what went wrong. Bet.

As much as fans like to revel in triumph, disappointment in sport – or in any endeavor – is often a more compelling story. “More people are involved with a broken heart than anything else,” ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser said on “Sorry for the Interruption” program Wednesday.

This was evident in an interview Shiffrin gave to NBC after she revealed in her first Olympic race how much pressure it puts on her. She apologized to the audience: “I’m sorry that I performed that way today,” she said.

Speaking to NBC’s Todd Lewis after Wednesday’s race, Shiffrin’s eyes filled with tears.

She said she had questioned “the last 15 years, everything I thought I knew about my skis, slalom and racing techniques.”

For the second time in a row, the emotional health of athletes performing on the biggest stage has been the subject of discussion. The experiences of gymnast Simone Biles (left) and tennis player Naomi Osaka last summer were fresh in the minds of NBC critics, and the online response was furious.

For the second time in a row, the emotional health of athletes performing on the biggest stage has been the subject of discussion. The experiences of gymnast Simone Biles (left) and tennis player Naomi Osaka last summer were fresh in the minds of NBC critics, and the online response was furious.

Simon Biles (center) at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Simon Biles (center) at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

At the same time, critics questioned NBC’s role in pressuring Shiffrin, who was named as one of the supposed stars before the Games began. In a segment broadcast before her second race, former ski racer and now NBC analyst Lindsay Vonn said that “this is a mandatory situation for Michaela.” The stakes couldn’t be higher.

After the race, Vonn tweeted that she was “gutted by Michaela Shiffrin, but that doesn’t detract from her storied career and what she can and will achieve in the future.”

Biles, a star gymnast who drew attention to mental health in athletics in Tokyo last year when she withdrew from several competitions, tweeted hearty emoticons addressed to Shiffrin on Wednesday.

She also retweeted a comment by writer Charlotte Clymer, who said that “shaming people just for not performing well at the Olympics seems the opposite of why we supposedly have the Olympics.”

NBC noted that Shiffrin was a world-class athlete enriched by advertising deals with her face adorning billboards.

If NBC has played the game of expectations, it’s not just one.

“Let’s remember that Michaela Shiffrin is a professional athlete who has won 73 times and (has) three Olympic gold medals,” Solomon said. “She’s one of the greatest skiers of all time. She’s 26 years old and incredibly successful. So for all of us, of course, it will be one of the central elements of the Games. I think she’d like that.

Osaka during a press conference after losing a third-round match against Amanda Anisimova of the United States on January 21. Osaka, like Shiffrin, struggled to talk to the media.

Osaka during a press conference after losing a third-round match against Amanda Anisimova of the United States on January 21. Osaka, like Shiffrin, struggled to talk to the media.

Wearing a maroon racing helmet, bright red reflective glasses and a white racing suit with the inscription “USA” on the front in blue capital letters, the two-time Olympic champion each time smoothly crossed the finish line in an upright position, and not in a speedy position. Tuck. After the first, she stopped briefly to chat with the other two riders. After the second, she quickly made her way past a crowd of about a dozen people and moved on.

“It’s hard to accept what happened, but she needs to deal with it. And one of the best ways to do that is to look ahead. She has several competitions here, and that’s great for her,” said Paul Christophic, head coach of the U.S. women’s alpine skiing team. “You have to look at what’s in front of you and try to calm what’s behind you, no matter how hard it is.”

Christophic said Thursday’s training session “went well.”

Shiffrin, a 26-year-old girl from Colorado, has never competed in the super-G at the Olympics, but won it at the 2019 World Championships.

“Being outside, changing events and doing something different is, of course, a different impulse, speed, and it’s a good feeling to be here, to push well and ski well,” Christophic said. “It’s part of the process to get through it.”

Michaela Shiffrin of the United States leaves the finish area after she skied in the first race of the women's slalom at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Michaela Shiffrin of the United States leaves the finish area after she skied in the first race of the women’s slalom at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

 

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