mikaela shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin, of the United States, skis during the third training run for the World Cup women's downhill ski race in Lake Louise, Alberta, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Mikaela Shiffrin wrestles with doubt in seconds before World Cup downhill debut

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After a momentary panic in the start house, Mikaela Shiffrin raced to a tie for 18th in the first downhill of her World Cup career in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.

Shiffrin, the youngest Olympic slalom champion who has also won a World Cup giant slalom, has been slowly adding the speed events of super-G and downhill to her repertoire the last two seasons.

“It wasn’t bad,” Shiffrin said, according to SkiRacing.com. “I certainly didn’t risk anything crazy.”

Her result Friday, 1.99 seconds behind Slovenian winner Ilka Stuhec, came after Shiffrin was 18th, 24th and 30th fastest in downhill training runs the previous three days. Shiffrin also had to wait several minutes in the start house as the racer before her crashed (video here).

“That was just a bummer,” Shiffrin said, according to the Denver Post. “I was like, ‘Just don’t let it affect you,’ but being up there for 10 minutes, like, ‘What happened? What’s taking them so long? What’s going on? Is she hurt?’

“Then I started doubting myself, like my technique going off the jumps, which is actually pretty good. I was going back and forth between, ‘Should I even be doing this? Maybe I just should pull out because I don’t want to kill myself.’ Then I’m like, ‘You’re absolutely fine, you haven’t felt sketched out a single time on this track in the past three days, so stick with that. You don’t have to go crazy.'”

“To be fast in speed there certainly needs to be a certain level of risk, and I know that, but now, if [giant slalom] and slalom are my main priority this season, I don’t need to be going crazy in a downhill with flat light and after I got iced [waiting so long],” Shiffrin said, according to SkiRacing.com.

Stuhec won Friday’s race by .22 of a second over Italian Sofia Goggia. Swede Kajsa Kling was third.

A race replay can be seen here. Full results are here.

Lindsey Vonn, owner of a record 18 wins at Lake Louise, is missing the annual World Cup stop in Alberta due to a broken arm from a November crash. Vonn had raced at Lake Louise each of the previous 15 seasons.

Last season, Shiffrin made her World Cup debut in the super-G at Lake Louise and finished 15th.

The women have another downhill Saturday and a super-G on Sunday in Lake Louise, both streaming live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app (schedule here).

MORE: Vonn eyes January return from her most painful injury

Mikaela Shiffrin wins 13th straight slalom, 2 shy of record

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Mikaela Shiffrin won her 13th straight slalom race, including her 10th straight on the World Cup, to move two shy of a women’s record in Killington, Vt., on Sunday.

The youngest Olympic slalom champion prevailed by .73 of a second after two runs at the first World Cup stop on the East Coast since 1991. Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova was second, followed by Swiss Wendy Holdener. Full results are here.

Shiffrin said she woke up Sunday with a bad feeling, despite the streak.

“To be honest, I didn’t have a lot of fun today,” she told media in Killington. “I was nervous. It’s not the way that I like to ski race. I like to ski when I’m free and having fun with it. … It’s tough to race in front of a home crowd.”

Shiffrin, who is 21 years old and now has 21 career World Cup slalom wins, moved two shy of the women’s World Cup consecutive wins record for a single discipline. Swiss Vreni Schneider captured 12 straight World Cup slaloms from 1988 to 1990.

On the men’s side, Swede Ingemar Stenmark won 15 straight World Cup giant slalom starts from 1978 to 1980.

Shiffrin could match Schneider by the end of the year with scheduled slaloms Dec. 11 in Sestriere, Italy, and Dec. 29 in Semmering, Austria.

Shiffrin’s streak dates to 2015 and also includes two national championships and one world championship. However, Shiffrin missed five slaloms in the middle of last season due to a right knee injury.

“I don’t feel like [the full streak] counts because I missed half the season last year,” Shiffrin said after her previous win Nov. 12 in Levi, Finland, where her prize was a reindeer she named Sven. “There were other winners. I think my streak starts after I came back from injury.”

Shiffrin won this season’s first two slaloms by and .67 and .73, respectively. Last season, four of her five victories were by more than two seconds.

“My best skiing, I’m not even close to that yet,” she said Sunday.

Shiffrin increased her lead in the World Cup overall standings to 157 points. Defending World Cup overall champion Lara Gut of Switzerland skipped the Killington slalom after skiing out of the giant slalom Saturday. Gut is best at downhill and super-G.

The women’s World Cup continues with two downhills and a super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, next weekend, which is slated to feature Shiffrin but not the injured Lindsey Vonn.

VIDEO: Vonn details return timetable

Mikaela Shiffrin fifth in first World Cup race on East Coast in 25 years

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Mikaela Shiffrin placed fifth in a giant slalom in Killington, Vt., on Saturday, the first World Cup race on the East Coast since 1991.

France’s Tessa Worley won by eight tenths of a second over Norwegian Nina Loeseth. Italy’s Sofia Goggia was third. Full results are here.

Worley, 27 and the 2013 World giant slalom champion, won for the first time since Dec. 15, 2013. She missed the Sochi Olympics due to a torn ACL.

Shiffrin was seventh after the first of two runs Saturday morning, 1.15 seconds behind Loeseth.

Shiffrin is the world’s best in slalom and has progressed in giant slalom since the Sochi Olympics, tying for a World Cup win in 2014 and getting second in the season opener last month.

“I’m pretty disappointed today, but I’m happy with the second run and just taking steps forward,” Shiffrin told media in Killington. “One of these days I’m actually going to ski some fast GS.”

She said she raced nervous in the morning and “pissed off” in the afternoon. Overall, the takeaway was frustration.

“I’m going to take a minute, kind of re-evaluate what’s going on with my GS and why I can’t seem to put my training skiing into the race,” Shiffrin said. “I have to start showing skiing like I actually want to win.”

Shiffrin increased her lead in the early World Cup overall season standings to 85 points. Swiss Lara Gut, the defending World Cup overall champion, skied out in the first run.

On Sunday, Shiffrin will go for her 13th straight slalom win (10th straight World Cup) in Killington.

First-run coverage is live at 9:30 a.m. ET streaming on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Second-run coverage will be at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, as well as streaming.

Killington was missing U.S. Olympic champions Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso and two-time World Cup overall champion Anna Veith of Austria, all getting a late start to the season due to injuries.