Mikaela Shiffrin 'was kind of puking' before first slalom run

Mikaela Shiffrin skis during the first run of the women’s slalom at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. (AP)

American skier Mikaela Shiffrin near the front of the pack after her first qualifying run on Friday morning in the women’s slalom.

Shiffrin finished her opening run in PyeongChang with a time of 49.37 seconds, .48 behind leader Wendy Holdener of Switzerland.

Right before her run, though, Shiffrin may have caught a case of the nerves. The 22-year-old was seen puking right before she got into the starting gate.

“I don’t know, that was kind of sudden,” Shiffrin said after the run. “It almost felt like a virus, kind of, puking, less about nerves.

“But we’ll see. .48 isn’t super far off, so I’ll do my best for the second round. It’s nice to have that first round out of the way. Nothing was tricky, I just have to move quick like always.”

Shiffrin finished in fourth in the event on Friday, just off the podium and failing to defend her gold medal from the 2014 Sochi Olympics four years prior. Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter took gold, Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener silver and Austria’s Katharina Gallhuber the bronze.

To kill time between runs, though, Shiffrin stuck to her routine. She took a nap between runs on Thursday, and walked away from the giant slalom with her first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“For sure,” Shiffrin said. “I’m going to go take a nap right now.”

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