It’s shaping up to be a dream day on the slopes for Mikaela Shiffrin and boyfriend Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who could both score Olympic gold on a jam-packed Sunday of Alpine skiing at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Thanks to a weather postponement, Kilde’s men’s downhill – originally planned for Saturday evening (U.S. time) – will take place directly in between the first and second runs of the women’s giant slalom, where Shiffrin is the defending gold medalist.
The heavy winds that disrupted the downhill are expected to subside enough for both events to successfully play out to a finish. The men will tackle the two-mile-long speed course known as “the Rock” while Shiffrin and her rivals tackle the nearby “Ice River” technical course at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center.
Shiffrin’s Busy Games Begin
The giant slalom leads off a potentially historic Olympics for Shiffrin, who could compete in as many as all five women’s individual events before the Games conclude. A medal in the GS – especially another gold – would factor massively into her mounting legacy in the sport. A repeat victory would make her the winningest American Alpine skier ever at the Olympics and bring her one step closer to the distinction of most decorated Olympic ski racer of all time from any nation.
She’ll be up against it this time, though, with GS world No. 1 Sara Hector and top-ranked slalom skier Petra Vlhova both in the mix. Both athletes have beaten Shiffrin multiple times on the World Cup circuit this winter.
"For a long time Mikaela was better than me. However, in the last seasons I showed clearly I am able to beat her often." Vlhova said recently. "We respect each other because we both know very well how difficult it is to become the best in the world."
Kilde closes in on maiden medal
At 29 years old, Kilde is enjoying a breakout season with six World Cup wins – three each in the downhill and super-G – and has positioned himself as the favorite for Olympic gold in the downhill.
The Norwegian logged the quickest training run of the field with a time of 1:43.72, emphasizing his frontrunner status. Kilde has yet to win an Olympic medal in two prior appearances at the Winter Games.
Three Americans, Bryce Bennett, Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Travis Ganong, all enter as dark horse podium hopefuls. Of the three, Bennett is arguably the most intriguing. The 6-foot-7 Californian picked up the first World Cup downhill win by an American in five years in December when he clocked the best time in Val Gardena, Italy.
WHAT TIME WILL THE WOMEN’S GIANT SLALOM AND MEN’S DOWNHILL START?
The first run of the women’s giant slalom kicks things off at 8:30 p.m. ET, followed by the men’s downhill at 11 p.m. ET. Shiffrin and company then return for the final GS run at 1:30 a.m. ET.
HOW TO WATCH THE WOMEN’S GIANT SLALOM AND MEN’S DOWNHILL ON TV
Check back later as TV coverage plans adjust to reflect schedule changes.
HOW TO STREAM ON NBCOlympics.com and the NBC SPORTS APP
Users with cable or satellite subscriptions can authenticate via TV Everywhere to stream every Alpine skiing event in the NBC Sports app or on NBCOlympics.com.
Women’s Giant Slalom – Run 1
8:30 p.m. ET
11 p.m. ET
Women’s Giant Slalom – Run 2
1:30 a.m. ET