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Mikaela Shiffrin Misses Slalom Podium After ‘Virus-Kind Of Puking’ Before Run

The athlete was expected to win gold in her best event but ended up in fourth place.

Mikaela Shiffrin, hoping to make history as the first skier to win back-to-back Olympic golds, finished fourth in the women’s slalom on Friday.

Following frustrating delays and her gold medal run in the giant slalom on Thursday, Shiffrin was seen throwing up just before entering the gate for her first run. She told NBC at the bottom of the hill that the sickness came on suddenly and “felt more like a virus-kind of puking, less about nerves.”

The norovirus has been been whipping its way across the Pyeongchang Olympic Games, felling staff and volunteers, with 244 reported cases as of Thursday. The Swiss team confirmed Friday that two of its skiers had contracted the virus, becoming the first athletes to be affected at the Games. 

It’s rare for Shiffrin to miss the podium entirely. Slalom is considered her best event and the competition she won gold in at the 2014 Sochi Games. NBC News reported that since Sochi, she had made the podium 34 times in world events, missing it only a handful of times. 

Frida Hansdotter of Sweden took gold, who said it “was nice to beat [Shiffin] for once, since she’s been beating me for so long.” Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener won silver and Austria’s Katharina Gallhuber took the bronze medal.

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