Two-time Alpine skiing gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin of Colorado has been thinking a lot about the stress and pressure that gymnast Simone Biles and swimmer Caeleb Dressel discussed during last year's Tokyo Olympics.
And Shiffrin knows that she will face similar burdens when her races at the Beijing Winter Games begin next week.
“It’s always scary,” Shiffrin said in an interview with The Associated Press. “You can’t really control the outcome beyond your own skiing. And that’s a really uncomfortable place to be.... If you add on top of that expectations from anybody, be it just somebody looking on livestreaming or looking at your Instagram posts to your coaches who are standing on the hill, and they want you to succeed.”
She already has been successful enough to own a total of three Olympic medals, three World Cup overall titles and six world championship golds.
Shiffrin is aware that creates expectations on her from everywhere. And how comfortable — or uncomfortable — that makes her in China could affect how well she performs.
Simone Biles dropped out of the gymnastics team competition in July, citing a need to focus on her mental health.
"No injury, thankfully, and that's why I took a step back because I didn't want to do something silly out there and get injured," Biles said. "I thought it was best that these girls took over and did the rest of the job, which they absolutely did. They're Olympic silver medalists now."