Tennis star Iga ÅwiÄ tek sent Mikaela Shiffrin a heartfelt video, emphasizing her admiration for the skiing icon, after she suffered a barrage of abuse on social media.
Shiffrin is one of the most successful alpine skiers in history and a three-time World Cup winner. She is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the youngest Olympic alpine ski champion in history, having won gold in Sochi at just 18 years old.
However, the Beijing Games turned out to be a real struggle for Shiffrin. Before the competition, the American star was aiming for up to five medals, but she hasn’t won any so far, with only one event remaining.
The 26-year-old was disqualified from the slalom and giant slalom for missing gates, before withdrawing from the women’s combined.
His three retirements at these Games are all the more surprising when you consider that this corresponds to the number of times it has happened in the previous four years.
Shiffrin had to hold back tears after her disappointment and admitted she felt like a failure.
“I don’t know if there is anyone who has had so many chances to win an Olympic medal and failed so many times,” she said.
To compound Shiffrin’s miserable experience at these Winter Olympics, the skier revealed on Twitter that she had been abused by others online.
Shiffrin posted screenshots of some of the messages she’s sent him recently, many of which describe her as a “choker” and someone who can’t handle pressure.
Despite the hateful comments, Shiffrin apparently does her best to ignore haters and posted a message emphasizing that she’s still just as driven to succeed.
âWell, kidsâ¦give them what you want to give them. Self-pity, sadnessâ¦ let the turkeys bring you down,â she said.
âWhy do I always come back? Gosh knows it hurts more than it feels good lately. I come back because the first [nine] today’s turns were spectacular, truly heavenly. This is where I’m supposed to be and I’m stubborn as shit.
“So let’s go for team training tomorrow and then the last alpine race of these Olympics on Saturday.”
â Mikaela Shiffrin (@MikaelaShiffrin) February 17, 2022
A number of sports stars have offered their support for Shiffrin in recent days, including gymnastics legend Simone Biles.
The latest to offer solace, however, is former French Open champion ÅwiÄ tek.
In a video message, via Discovery Eurosport, the 20-year-old said: âHi Mikaela. I know these must be tough times for you, but you really need to remember how much of an inspiration you are to all of us. Not just as an athlete but as a person.
âIt’s not just empty words, you know that and I know that. You have also inspired me and I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to chat with you and talk to you and meet you one day when Covid is gone.
“I really hope you keep going and keep being as strong as you are because you’re doing really well.”
Things you ð¹ð¼ðð² ðð¼ ðð²ð² ð¤
âEurosport (@eurosport) February 18, 2022
ÅwiÄ tek reached the Australian Open semi-finals last month and is currently ranked fourth in the world.
While tennis and skiing have never been a good mix, the Polish star’s words prove that athletes can often help each other out in times of need.
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