No skier has ever won five individual gold medals in a single Olympic Games, and it appears that it will be at least another four years until someone can attempt the feat.
According to her mother Eileen, American superstar skier Mikaela Shiffrin will not participate in Saturday’s super-G event, ending speculation that she would attempt to win five event at the PyeongChang Olympics
Shiffrin, who is dominating the sport at an incredible level right now, captured the gold in the giant slalom on Thursday in South Korea. She’s also slated to race in the slalom, her signature event in which she in the reigning Olympic and world champion, on Friday morning.
If Shiffrin, 22, is able to capture the gold in the slalom Friday, she would become the first American to win Olympic gold medals on back-to-back days since Eric Heiden’s historic 1980 games in which he won all five speed skating distances.
No one has ever won all five skiing events (downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and alpine combined) at a single Olympics, but there was strong speculation that Shiffrin would try to make history by doing just that.
Prior to the games, she said, “I would like to compete in everything,” but added, “I’m not sure if I will have the energy to do that.”
While it would seem likely that Shiffrin would have the physical strength to attempt the feat, the mental burden — mapping out course, changing preparation strategies and finding the right mindset every single day for several straight days — would have been enormous.
Still, Shiffrin has already doubled her career Olympic gold medal count with the giant slalom win on Thursday and can now be solely focused on the slalom, the event in which she will be the massive favorite upon her return to the slopes Friday.
After skiing in the slalom, Shiffrin will get a chance to take a break. The women’s downhill is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21 and the women’s alpine combined is listed for Friday, Feb. 23.
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Mikaela Shiffrin will not ski for five golds in PyeongChang as some, including herself, speculated. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)