PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Mikaela Shiffrin is prepared for the post-Olympics letdown of a return to normal life but the American still has plenty to target over the rest of the year and is even looking further ahead towards her third Games in 2022.
The 22-year-old had a highly successful Games with a giant slalom gold and a silver in the combined, even if there was some disappointment with fourth in her defense of the slalom title she won as a teenager in Sochi four years ago.
Shiffrin said she had been through the emotional wringer in South Korea and hoped she could carry the passion for her sport back from Pyeongchang as she continues her pursuit for more World Cup titles.
“The... thing about these Olympics is everything after it feels like blargh!” she told reporters on Friday.
“The hardest thing about the Olympics is the incredible emotional value after it, like, what is my life worth meant for now that the Olympics is over?
“You came here because you are passionate and driven and working hard in your sport and you can leave here and take that same attitude for the rest of it.
“Take advantage of the Olympics and what you got out of it and move forward with a passion for your sport.”
With 10 World Cup race wins already this season, Shiffrin is well clear in her quest for a second straight overall crown, leads the race for the slalom globe that she has won for four of the last five years and third in the giant slalom standings.
“I’m going back, I have two more race series left in the season, at least. I’m really looking forward to it,” she added.
“I’m a contender for the overall globe. I’m not just a contender, I have a rather large lead actually, and also for the slalom globe and the GS globe, I really want to do my best to get that one. There’s a lot of things I want to accomplish.”
Shiffrin skipped the women’s downhill after the combined event was moved forward in Pyeongchang but said she would be looking to continue to improve in speed events to become a better all-round skier.
“Get more experience of my World Cup venues, just get more experience on my speed skis, to get more comfortable with that speed,” she said.
“Because you can have a lot of training and be in that speed mentality, it’s great and I can be really fast.
“But yesterday I saw that having even one day off of my downhill skis, and having one day when I didn’t ski that track, I wasn’t quite as comfortable as I was in my last training run.
“There’s a lot of things I have to learn in speed still...”
Editing by John O'Brien