Ski racer Shiffrin eyes 5-event Olympics after 3 last time

Shiffrin Goals Skiing

First things first for Mikaela Shiffrin: She is certain she wants to participate in every individual women’s Alpine ski race at the Beijing Olympics.

The 26-year-old from Colorado also knows that was her aim for the last Winter Games — and things did not quite work out according to plan back then.

So as Shiffrin gears up for the start of the World Cup season this month, then looks further down the road toward the trip to Asia in February, she is examining various ways in which she can beat her best for both. That means how she performs while on her skis, speeding down the side of a mountain, of course, as well as areas she can work on while away from the slopes.

“Something I’m dreaming about right now is to be able to compete in each event in China. But that means I have to do a lot more preparation, mentally,” Shiffrin said from Austria on Friday, during a video conference with reporters. “Just understanding how that is going to affect me mentally and physically throughout, essentially, the three weeks that we’re there.

"So it definitely takes a lot of my focus to think: What are the boxes we have to check, even totally outside of skiing and technique and tactics and the physical side of things? What are the boxes we need to check to make sure that I have some comfort level staying in a place that I’ve never been before for three weeks and dealing with the jet lag and getting over that as fast as possible?”

Shiffrin owns three Olympic medals, two golds. She also has won 69 World Cup races — only Ingemar Stenmark, with 86, and Lindsey Vonn, 82, have more in the sport's history — along with a trio of overall titles.

While careful to note some caveats, including that she needs to ski well enough to earn a spot on the U.S. team for the five individual women's Alpine events in Beijing, Shiffrin would love to be in the starting gate each time; giant slalom Feb. 7, slalom Feb. 9, super-G Feb. 11, downhill Feb. 15 and combined Feb. 17.

Then again, that was the idea at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, too, before weather-related rescheduling contributed to Shiffrin participating in three races. She left South Korea with a gold in giant slalom, silver in combined and a fourth-place finish in slalom.