Le Pays De France - Shiffrin left 'low' at Beijing Olympics as Chloe Kim stars and falls

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Shiffrin left 'low' at Beijing Olympics as Chloe Kim stars and falls
Shiffrin left 'low' at Beijing Olympics as Chloe Kim stars and falls

Shiffrin left 'low' at Beijing Olympics as Chloe Kim stars and falls

Mikaela Shiffrin's Beijing Olympics threatened to turn into a winter nightmare after she slid out of the slalom as fellow American star Chloe Kim starred and then sprawled in snowboard Wednesday.

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Six gold medals were up for grabs on the fifth day of full competition in the Chinese capital, with Birk Ruud taking home one of them after a dominant victory in the freestyle skiing Big Air -- even holding a Norwegian flag for his third jump.

But Shiffrin, one of the biggest names at the Games, will have to wait at least a bit longer for a career third Olympic gold in alpine skiing.

The 26-year-old made a shock early exit from the giant slalom on Monday and with the pressure on, suffered the same fate in the slalom.

She slid wide after just a handful of gates before skiing out, then plonked herself down on the snow, head in hands.

The American said she felt "pretty awful", although added: "But it won't feel awful for ever. I just feel pretty low right now."

Shiffrin will compete in three more individual events in Beijing, with the super-G on Friday, followed by the downhill on Monday and the alpine combined on February 17.

The 21-year-old Kim, who made worldwide headlines when she won snowboard gold as a teenager at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, is one of the others to watch at this Olympics.

Making her first appearance in Beijing, Kim topped qualifying for Thursday's halfpipe final with her first-run score of 87.75, ahead of Japan's Mitsuki Ono in second, on 83.75 points, and China's Cai Xuetong on 83.25.

But Kim fell midway through her second run at Genting Snow Park, sprawling on her stomach as she attempted to land from a trick.

The young American afterwards passed through the "mixed zone" where media speak to the athletes without stopping to talk.

Kim last week laid bare her struggles to adapt to the fame and scrutiny that came with gold four years ago, coupled with anxiety about the Covid pandemic.

It all culminated in Kim tossing her 2018 Olympic gold in the garbage, before later retrieving it.

Burnt out, she hung up her board and went to college for a year, partly to experience the normal teenage experiences that she had missed out on.

Also in action in snowboard later Wednesday, and at the opposite end of his career, is the 35-year-old Shaun White.

The three-time halfpipe Olympic champion said last week that he will retire from competition after Beijing and is determined to go out with a bang.

Some of the other riders are half his age.

Golds are also there to be won on Wednesday in women snowboard cross, luge, nordic combined and short track speed skating.