Mikaela Shiffrin, two-time Olympic champion, is the latest elite skier that has been tested positive for COVID-19. She will be competing in the Beijing Games in less than six months.
“I wanted to let you all know that I’m doing well, but unfortunately I had a positive COVID test,” the American wroteTuesday, via her social media channels. “I’m following protocol and isolating.”
Shiffrin said she will miss 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.”
February 4th will see the opening of Beijing Olympics.
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 but 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.
Another top skier who has missed races due to COVID-19 testing is Lara Gut-Behrami (extended overall champion), Katharina Liensberger, Austrian champion and Alice Robinson from New Zealand.
Maryna Gąsienica-Daniel, the Polish skier who finished sixth in two giant slaloms in Courchevel, France, last week, 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 is still out, despite her positive news 10 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. Markus Mayr (FIS race director) will take Gerdol’s place for Lienz. No spectators are 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.