Olympics Women's Slalom results: Mikaela Shiffrin finishes off the podium

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Medal eludes Shiffrin in slalom

"It's for sure a little bit different", she said.

She was in second place after her first run at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre.

With many competitors struggling to avoid mistakes and several wiping out altogether on the steep 1,250 meters-long slope, with a vertical drop of 400 meters, Shiffrin was conspicuous by her smooth, attacking style and easy rhythm.

Hansdotter was also slower on her second run but held off Holdener to win in a combined time of one minute 38.63 seconds.

There's a checklist of activities that fill an athlete's calendar when they win a gold medal, and the US Ski Team anticipated the issues for Shiffrin and came up with what was termed a "victory management plan" to minimize the effect of the ancillary activities that come with winning a gold medal.

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Shiffrin's subpar day, however, also carries consequences.

Frida Hansdotter of Sweden won the gold medal in the slalom.

Shiffrin wound up fourth after medaling a day earlier in the giant slalom.

That didn't start until after 8 p.m. Shiffrin has been trying to go to bed by 8:30 each night, but the night before Friday's slalom she wasn't in bed until 10.

So there was something slightly unsettling following Shiffrin's morning run. Shiffrin has always put great stock in shut-eye, and is known as a serial napper, regularly catching quick sleeps in ski lodges and chair lifts. I had a smile on my face at the start.

Shiffrin was never supposed to race on back-to-back days at the 2018 Winter games.

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Shriffin said she managed to control her nerves for her second run, but didn't feel herself on her skis.

"It was my 15 seconds to let it all out", Shiffrin said, "and now I've got to focus on tomorrow".

But she wasn't the only one: Her first run was second-fastest; her other was fourth-fastest. "To me, it was far more free". After that, Shiffrin will skip Saturday's super-G, according to her mom, because there's no time to properly prepare. Mikaela didn't really know what to say. She told NBC "It was kind of sudden it nearly felt like a virus kind of puking less about nerves". When you have two races in a row, it's really important to keep that mental energy stable.

"So coming here and skiing the way I did, conservatively, is a huge disappointment. It's definitely a bummer".

If Shiffrin misses the super-G and downhill, it would leave her with just the Alpine combined event on Friday, giving her a maximum of two medals if she has success in the latter.

"You have three days of not racing and you're going up and down every day wondering how the conditions are going to be", she said. "I'm ready to see the downhill course, see how it feels". Thursday, she said she had a "love-hate relationship" with giant slalom. "Someday I'll be able to understand that it's part of life and I'm just learning and I'm 22-years-old".

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