Thomas Bach ‘disturbed’ by Kamila Valieva’s coach, Eileen Gu wins gold in halfpipe closing

Thomas Bach ‘disturbed’ by Kamila Valieva’s coach, Eileen Gu wins gold in halfpipe closing

A United States staff led by Mikaela Shiffrin is leaving the Beijing Olympics with simply one of many 30 particular person medals in Alpine snowboarding. And it is a silver (from Ryan Cochran-Siegle within the males’s super-G).

The nation accountable for Winter Games success tales comparable to Bode Miller, Lindsey Vonn, Ted Ligety and Julia Mancuso over the previous 20 years alone final earned only one ski racing medal at an Olympics in 1998 — and a minimum of that was a gold. So actually, it’s a must to go all the best way again to 1988, when Americans earned zero Alpine medals, to discover a worse exhibiting than 2022.

“We have clear goals and expectations that we build into our program,” head U.S. ladies’s Alpine coach Paul Kristofic mentioned, “and, of course, when you don’t do that, it’s disappointing.”

There is one final probability for a medal Saturday within the staff parallel race, an occasion added to the Olympics in 2018. Shiffrin is a part of the U.S. roster for that, together with Paula Moltzan, AJ Hurt, River Radamus, Tommy Ford and Luke Winters.

So what went flawed for the U.S. this time? Quite a bit, it seems.

Start with Shiffrin, already one of the vital achieved skiers in historical past at age 26, with three medals from previous Olympics — two golds, one silver — together with six world championship golds, three total World Cup titles, 73 World Cup race wins (third-most ever) and 47 World Cup slalom victories (a file for any self-discipline).

She entered all 5 ladies’s races in China and that is how they went, so as: big slalom, Did Not Finish; slalom, Did Not Finish; super-G, ninth; downhill, 18th; mixed, Did Not Finish.

“I don’t really understand it, and I’m not sure when I’m going to have much of an explanation,” Shiffrin mentioned Thursday, when she tumbled about 10 seconds into the slalom portion of the mixed after being fifth within the downhill. “And I can’t explain to you how frustrated I am to not know what I can learn from the day.”

Put merely: The world’s greatest skier in recent times produced poor performances over the previous one and a half weeks.

Other points for the United States included the absence of Breezy Johnson, the second-best ladies’s World Cup downhiller this season, who missed the Olympics after surgical procedure; Ford raced for the primary time since getting severely injured in January 2021; a smaller males’s staff of simply six racers due to guidelines adjustments, so just one American entered the slalom and, for the primary time, zero entered the mixed.

The greatest exhibiting by an American girl was Moltzan’s eighth place in slalom.

Aside from Cochran-Siegle’s silver, the one American man to fare higher than twelfth was Radamus’ fourth place in big slalom.

Maybe medals, particularly golds, aren’t the one measures of Winter Games success. They are, although, what issues most when judging a staff.

“It’s the real superstars that have had the medal hauls in recent Olympics,” head U.S. males’s Alpine coach Forest Carey mentioned, “and on the men’s side, anyway, we don’t have those superstars.”

At the Pyeongchang Games 4 years in the past, the American males did not earn an Alpine medal, however the ladies acquired three.

Other US medal totals this century: 5 in 2014, eight in 2010, two in 2006, two in 2002.

“It is a bit strange, because usually, the Americans are always strong at big events,” Italian skier Alex Vinatzer mentioned. “But at the end of the day, a one-off event is a one-off event, and it’s hard to do well.”

Look at what Switzerland, a nation of fewer than 10 million individuals, achieved: 5 golds, an Olympic Alpine file, from Corinne Suter (ladies’s downhill), Lara Gut-Behrami (ladies’s super-G), Michelle Gisin (ladies’s mixed), Beat Feuz (males’s downhill), Marco Odermatt (males’s big slalom). That nation collected 9 particular person medals within the sport.

Austria collected six medals (two golds); Italy 4; France and Norway three apiece.

“This Olympics came at a bit of a transition time,” Carey mentioned, pointing to Radamus, who turned 24 final weekend, for instance of up-and-coming expertise. “The Olympics are all about medals, but the guys we have competed pretty well. And we have a stronger foundation coming up. It’s just hard to say if any of them are going to be transcendent like Bode or Ted.”

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