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Shiffrin to miss Opening Ceremony in Sochi for training

Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin of the US reacts after the women giant slalom race at the Alpine ski World Cup finals on March 17, 2013 in Lenzerheide. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

After finishing seventh in today’s FIS World Cup slalom event in Slovenia, Team USA Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin will be taking some extra time away from Sochi to prepare for the Olympics.

According to the New York Times, Shiffrin, who will compete in the giant slalom on Feb. 18 and the slalom on Feb. 21, will not be in attendance for the opening ceremony this Friday at Fisht Olympic Stadium.

Instead, per the NYT’s Christopher Clarey, she will be training in Italy with other American technical skiers for much of the Olympics’ first week.

“It will be strange,” Shiffrin said about not being around for the first few days of competition. “We might be thinking, ‘Maybe we should get going.’”

That said, the work in Italy could help in putting today’s run in Slovenia - in which she caught a rut in the course and lost valuable time while recovering - out of her mind. The 18-year-old American remains atop the World Cup standings by 80 points over today’s winner, Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter.

But with the Olympics looming, that’s being put on the back-burner. As for pressure, Shiffrin says she isn’t really feeling it yet.

“It’s definitely a big event and it’s very prestigious and there’s a lot going on,” she added according to the NYT. “I would never want to underestimate the Olympics or take anything away from that, but the race in and of itself is just another race.

“Whether it’s at the Olympics or the World Cup or wherever it is, it’s still start and finish and some gates in between.”

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