Alpine Skiing

Mikaela Shiffrin to miss World Cup season opener in Soelden

Double Olympic champion to sit out next Sunday's giant slalom after "tweaking" her back last week

By Rory Jiwani ·

Mikaela Shiffrin will miss the Alpine Skiing World Cup season opener with a back injury.

The double Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion said on her Instagram that she tweaked her back skiing last week and has been advised to rest in order to be fit for the rest of the season.

The 2020-21 World Cup starts in Soelden, Austria with a giant slalom next Saturday (17 October).

The American has not raced since February after sitting out the end of last season following the death of her father Jeff in an accident.

Earlier this week, the 25-year-old said she was considering her future in the sport saying skiing takes her "away from the people that I love".

Shiffrin's stunning record

After making her World Cup debut at just 15 years old, Shiffrin became the youngest slalom champion in Olympic history when she took gold at Sochi 2014 aged 18 years and 345 days.

Four years later she won the giant slalom at PyeongChang 2018 to become her nation’s joint most successful alpine skier ever with Ted Ligety and Andrea Mead Lawrence, before adding silver in the combined event.

She is the only athlete to have ever won in all six Alpine Ski World Cup disciplines, including the parallel slalom, and at 23 years and nine months became the youngest skier to rack up 50 World Cup wins.

After the death of her father in February, Shiffrin took a break from the sport and her planned return in March was thwarted by the onset of COVID-19 restrictions in Europe which ended the season prematurely.

That ended her challenge for a fourth consecutive overall World Cup title with Italy's Federica Brignone claiming the crown and Slovakia's Petra Vlhova taking the slalom crystal globe.