Mikaela Shiffrin took to Instagram on Wednesday, March 11th to announce that she will in fact race in Are, Sweden. She and her team will be taking extra precautions at the race to protect her privacy in the wake of her heartbreak from Jeff Shiffrin’s sudden passing, as well as her health during the coronavirus outbreak.
On a typical race day, Shiffrin is the kind of athlete that will stick around the finish and sign as many posters, hug as many fans, and take as many photos as she can prior to attending her other duties such as press conferences and award ceremonies. In a statement made in her Instagram post, Shiffrin said she will not be interacting with fans as per usual as apart of these precautions.
“The heartbreak remains–for this reason, and also due to concerns about the Coronavirus, I ask that you be accepting of my decision to limit my interactions with the media, fans, and competitors. This means no selfies, autographs, hugs, high fives, handshakes or kiss greetings, and limited interviews if any,” she wrote.
Despite these restrictions, Shiffrin seems excited to get back into the start gate at a venue that means a lot to her and her father. She dubbed it as the “right place to rejoin my World Cup family and try and race again.”
“I have some wonderful memories with my Dad here during the World Cup Finals and World Champs, so I’ve been looking forward to returning to these races,” she wrote. “I still have no real goals or expectations. I just would like to try and race again before the end of the season.”
The last women’s tech races will get underway on March 12th with the parallel slalom, followed by a night giant slalom on the 13th and the slalom on the 14th.
In Shiffrin’s absence, Italian Federica Brignone and Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova have both surpassed her in various disciplines. Brignone currently leads Shiffrin in the overall by 153 points. Vlhova leads Shiffrin in the slalom by 20 points. Shiffrin sits third in the giant slalom standing behind both competitors, trailing the leader by 93 points. The ranks and standings are still tight enough for Shiffrin to walk away with a crystal globe if she skis her best, but as she has reiterated multiple times prior to her start, she has zero expectations. All she wants is to make a few good turns in honor of her father and his legacy.