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Mikaela Shiffrin plots early season schedule with focus on technical events

Mikaela Shiffrin

FLACHAU, AUSTRIA - JANUARY 14: Mikaela Shiffrin of United States of America during the FIS Ski World Cup - Women’s Alpine Slalom - first run - on January 14, 2020 in Flachau, Austria. (Photo by Klaus Pressberger/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

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Mikaela Shiffrin is sticking to a plan to, at first, focus on slalom and giant slalom races as she returns to the Alpine skiing World Cup.

Shiffrin will not race this weekend’s super-Gs in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Saturday and Sunday, 5:28 a.m. ET, Olympic Channel and Peacock Premium). Her next possible races are giant slaloms in Courchevel, France, on Dec. 12-13.

It’s unlikely that Shiffrin enters speed races later in December -- two downhills and a super-G in Val d’Isere from Dec. 18-20 -- which would keep her schedule to exclusively slaloms and giant slaloms until the new year.

It’s no surprise. Shiffrin, though she has won World Cup downhills and super-Gs, has been selective when it comes to speed races.

She hasn’t raced a downhill or super-G since January -- nor trained on downhill or super-G skis since then, she said last month. Her preseason training was cut short due to a back injury, limiting her time practicing her best events of slalom and GS.

The drawback to sitting out speed races is missing out on points in the chase for the World Cup overall, the biggest annual prize in ski racing.

Shiffrin won the title three straight years, and then was significantly leading last season before she sat out the final races following her father’s death. Italian Federica Brignone passed her to win the overall title.

“It’s quite a bit less in my thoughts than it has been in years past,” Shiffrin said last month of the overall.

Shiffrin finished second and fifth in slaloms two weeks ago in Finland in her first races in 300 days. She skipped last week’s parallel event in Austria as Slovakian rival Petra Vlhova racked up three straight wins and grabbed the overall lead.

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