Mikaela Shiffrin ousted from race, draws mental health comparisons to Biles

American skier Mikaela Shiffrin was one of the favorites to win multiple medals at Beijing Winter 2022 Olympic Games. After poor starts that have already disqualified Shiffrin from her first two events, there are now people asking if she is battling similar mental health issues as American gymnast Simone Biles at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

On Wednesday, Shiffrin missed a gate just five seconds into his slalom race, giving him a DNF for the race, meaning he doesn’t qualify to go beyond his first race in that discipline.

Mikaela Shiffrin of Team USA inspects the course before the Women’s Slalom Race 1 on day five of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at the National Alpine Ski Center on February 9, 2022 in Yanqing, China.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

This came two days after she crashed just 11 seconds into her giant slalom race, in which she was the defending Olympic gold medalist.

After missing the first gate on Wednesday by her most recent disqualification, Shiffrin sat alone and dejected on the side of that hill in China.

The US Ski and Snowboard Team tweeted after Shiffrin’s latest mishap that the skier is “okay but disappointed.”

Live television announcers in the United States focused on her failure in the race as the cameras remained steadfast on Shiffrin sitting alone. Many on social media didn’t like that.

Meanwhile, multiple people on the global web have started pointing out possible mental health issues similar to the ones Simone Biles brought to light at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (which were delayed due to COVID) last summer.

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These are some of the things that were said through social networks.

“Mikaela Shiffrin has been hounded by the media for her anxiety, her father’s death, and pressure on her. And now they’re acting shocked that she’s human,” one person said. tweeted.

“Seeing SO many similarities between Simone Biles this summer in Tokyo and now Mikaela Shiffrin in Beijing…perhaps the pressure we put on these female athletes (publicly suffering mental pain) is too much?” other wrote.

“This. We were supposed to learn this lesson last year with Simone Biles. Let’s show Mikaela Shiffrin some empathy, not only for her own mental health, but also for the well-being of all the girls who look up to her.” . follower wrote.

Shiffrin is scheduled for three more events, but as of Wednesday it is unclear if she will compete in them.

Six months ago, at the COVID-delayed 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, Biles withdrew from individual and team events, citing mental health issues that had taken a toll on perhaps the greatest gymnast of all time. . She eventually recovered, regrouped, and rejoined the Games, winning a medal in the process.

The pressure began to mount on Biles more than five years earlier. He did not say what “mental health” problems he had faced after his Tokyo retreats, but the signs were there over the years.

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Shortly after the USA gymnasts returned from triumph at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, it was revealed that former team doctor Larry Nassar had sexually assaulted several girls and young women on the show. . It was learned of the rigorous training in the Texas complex of the Karolyis, who were famous trainers of Nadia Comaneci and, finally, of the Americans.

Biles talked about being so hungry at camp in Texas that he broke into the camp cafeteria and sneaked food into his hoodie to get back to his room. She didn’t enjoy being hungry like she did when she was a poor girl that she had to pour water over her cereal because the family couldn’t afford the milk.

Biles detailed those conversations during an interview about Nassar’s time in charge of medical duties for the US team. Biles said at the time that it was something he couldn’t even tell his parents.

“It was so hard for me to even say it out loud, that I knew how hard, like it would crush me. It would crush my parents. And I didn’t want them to feel the same pain that I felt. Because those were very dark times,” Biles said.

Biles said USA Gymnastics hasn’t done enough to address sexual assault and other issues within the team’s program.

“One hundred percent. We bring them medals. We do our part. Can’t you do your part in return? It’s just disgusting,” Biles said.

Biles said that if he had a daughter, he wouldn’t put her on the USA Gymnastics program until a lot of things are worked out.

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“I don’t feel comfortable enough, because they haven’t taken responsibility for their actions and what they’ve done. And we have not been assured that it will never happen again,” Biles said.

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics kicked off last weekend and will conclude with the Closing Ceremony on February 20.

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