Rising before dawn on Wednesday, Shiffrin was on the racecourse for more than an hour, inspecting and memorizing the intricate pattern of slalom gates to better her chances at defending her Olympic title. She seemed especially engrossed by the task on the slope, her concentration perhaps heightened by the frequent delays.
As for Vonn, what has she been doing while Shiffrin has sweated out interminable race delays and nasty weather that has disrupted her training as well?
Vonn has had plenty of time to rest and to pick and choose her times to train as she focuses on her events — the downhill, super-G and Alpine combined, which take place in the span of a week beginning Saturday. Vonn seems at ease as she waits for her Olympic journey to begin, apparently on time and as scheduled.
Vonn appears to have spent Wednesday hunting for love on Twitter.
Shiffrin would also like to enter one or two more events next week. But that was a plan from a week ago. Back then, the notion that Shiffrin would chase medals in five Olympic events seemed more plausible because the races were evenly spaced across 12 days, not wedged into nine, action-packed days.
For nearly a year now, Shiffrin expected to be done with roughly half of her odyssey at the Pyeongchang Olympics by nightfall on Feb. 14. In the best-case scenario, she would have swept two of her best events, or at least earned a medal in both. Then in the second week she would play with house money, especially since she would be a clear favorite in the final individual race of the Olympics, the women’s Alpine combined, which is one downhill and one slalom run.