Mikaela Shiffrin will miss races early this week after testing positive for COVID-19 as the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics near.
Shiffrin, a two-time Olympic champion who already clinched a spot on the 2022 team, said Monday morning on social media she is “doing well” and following protocol and isolating. She will miss World Cup giant slalom and slalom races in Lienz, Austria, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Best of luck to my teammates…I’ll be cheering for you from afar,” Shiffrin wrote on Instagram. “Thank you all for your support. I’ll see you in the new year.”
The official start of the Olympics is six weeks away, but the immediate competitive impact is the overall World Cup title.
Shiffrin currently leads the standing with 750 points. Italy’s Sofia Goggia is 115 points behind, earning nearly all of her points by ranking No. 1 in both downhill and super-G. Shiffrin’s strong suits are giant slalom and slalom. She has six consecutive technical races scheduled.
The next World Cup race is a slalom in Zagreb, Croatia, in about a week from Monday on Jan. 4.
As athletes and professional sports leagues deal with an increase in positive COVID-19 cases, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are creeping up. They are currently scheduled to run Feb. 4-20 in a bubble-like “closed loop” system to keep athletes safe. Organizers said earlier this month the new omicron variant will not force a postponement of the Games.
Shiffrin, 26, joins at least three other skiers who have missed time after testing positive for COVID-19, via the Associated Press: former overall champion Lara Gut-Behrami, Austrian world champion Katharina Liensberger and New Zealand’s Alice Robinson.