Mikaela Shiffrin is already preparing for next season.
The 19-year-old Olympic slalom champion trained super-G with U.S. speed team members at the 2015 World Championships site in Beaver Creek, Colo., this week, according to Ski Racing magazine.
It came less than a week after Shiffrin’s final races of a memorable season at the U.S. Championships in Squaw Valley, Calif. It wasn’t much of a trek to Beaver Creek for Shiffrin, though, who is from nearby Vail.
A Shiffrin storyline when the next World Cup season begins in October will be her anticipated World Cup debut in super-G. Shiffrin is the two-time reigning World Cup slalom champion and has made two giant slalom podiums but has yet to enter races outside those technical events.
She has said she could race super-G next season, but it appears no specific plans are set yet.
“She is going to be doing [super-G], but not definitely,” U.S. technical events coach Roland Pfeifer said, according to the magazine. “It’s all about how she is feeling next year, how the summer camps will go, how the strength training will go, how she is improving, what she is accomplishing. And then we see how strong she is, and then we’ll make the decision.”
A key could be the addition of a new speed events coach after Chip White stepped aside following 18 successful seasons.
That coach, according to the magazine, is Swiss Stefan Abplanalp, who formerly led Norway’s women’s team.
“I’m working on preparing Mikaela Shiffrin on running some more speed disciplines,” Abplanalp said, according to a Ski Racing article dated March 15.
Pfeifer said he will continue to oversee Shiffrin’s entire program, including potential speed events, according to Ski Racing.
The 2015 World Championships will be held at Beaver Creek in February. That would be an intriguing venue for Shiffrin to race super-G, potentially with Lindsey Vonn also in the field.
“If [Shiffrin] is able to qualify for super-G, then it’s an option to do at the World Championships not just GS and slalom, also do the super-G,” Pfeifer told the magazine. “But as of today, I think just do super-G in Beaver Creek, since she knows the venue. But I’m not really optimistic that she does other super-Gs.”