Mikaela Shiffrin is ready for the Alpine skiing season. Just ask the guys.
Shiffrin, 18, has been beating some of her male teammates in training leading up to the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
“Yeah, but that’s training,” U.S. women’s coach Alex Hoedlmoser said, according to the AP. “She had an incredible preparation, is skiing really well. Everything went well. The equipment works, she’s in good spirits and she’s skiing well. So she’s ready, but you can’t compare it with guys.”
Roland Pfeifer, coach of the U.S. technical team, said Shiffrin beating men is “a little bit misleading.”
“She’s doing a great job, but I’m not able to tell what this is going to be,” he said, not wanting to say which male skiers she beat, according to the AP. “But for sure we are really looking for a podium. That’s (what) she’s here for.”
Shiffrin’s ultimate goal is to be an overall contender across technical and speed events like Lindsey Vonn, but she plans to only race slalom and giant slalom this season and at the Olympics.
She is the reigning world champion and World Cup season champion in the slalom and placed sixth in the giant slalom at the World Championships in February.
Ligety’s biggest goal not Olympics
Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen is pregnant and will not compete this year.
“Just kind of take this year a little bit easier,” Jorgensen said in a video posted on Facebook on Thursday.
The baby is due Aug. 3, according to Jorgensen’s social media.
Jorgensen, 30, became the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champion in Rio after going in as the heavy favorite. She has said for months that she planned to take time off to have a baby before returning to defend her Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.
Swiss Nicola Spirig, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2016 silver medalist, is reportedly expecting a child in May.
In Jorgensen and Spirig’s absences, the top triathletes going into the season are defending world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda, U.S. Olympians Katie Zaferes and Sarah True and Britons Vicky Holland and Helen Jenkins.
Jorgensen’s last competition was the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, when she finished 14th in her first running race longer than 10 miles.
The World Triathlon Series kicks off in Abu Dhabi the first weekend of March.
MORE: Triathlon federation boss wants Olympic races shortened
The PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the first Winter Games in South Korea, are a little more than one year away.
A number of U.S. stars are establishing themselves in this winter sports season as medal contenders.
NBC Sports takes a look at some of those names to watch, as the U.S. looks to return to the top of the medal standings.
Russia earned the most medals at home in Sochi in 2014 with 33 medals, with the U.S. coming in second with 28. Those standings could change if Russian results are stripped due to its ongoing doping scandal.
The U.S. has never topped the total medal standings at a Winter Olympics outside of North America. It led the way at Lake Placid 1932 and Vancouver 2010.
VIDEO: PyeongChang 2018 Olympic venue tour