Alpine skiing-Shiffrin to miss World Cup season opener with back issue

FILE PHOTO: FIS Ski World Cup - Women's Slalom
FILE PHOTO: Alpine Skiing - FIS Ski World Cup - Women's Slalom - Flachau, Austria - January 14, 2020 Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. celebrates third place REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo

October 9, 2020

(Reuters) – Double Olympic gold medallist Mikaela Shiffrin said on Friday she will miss next week’s World Cup season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria with a back injury.

The 25-year-old American, a three-time World Cup overall champion who last raced in January, said she tweaked her back skiing last week.

“I have been advised to sit Soelden out to let my back heal so I can race the rest of the season,” Shiffrin wrote in a post on Instagram.

“Having started in Soelden for the last eight years straight, this feels … really frustrating and strange (for lack of better words). Luckily, this injury will heal and I will be back in the start soon.”

Shiffrin made the Soelden podium in five of the last six years, including a victory in the 2014 race.

Shiffrin was set to return to competitive action in March for the final races of the 2019-20 season after taking more than a month out following the death of her father but the COVID-19 outbreak ended the season prematurely.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)