Mikaela Shiffrin is isolating after a positive coronavirus test following races in Courchevel, France. (Marco Trovati/AP)
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Mikaela Shiffrin, who spoke of being tired and looking forward to a brief Christmas break while competing in France last week, announced Monday that she has tested positive for the coronavirus, which disrupts her schedule less than six weeks before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The two-time Olympic champion added that she is isolating after becoming the latest elite female skier to test positive.

“I wanted to let you all know that I’m doing well, but unfortunately I had a positive covid test,” Shiffrin, who finished first and second in her two most recent races, the giant slalom events in Courchevel, France, wrote on Instagram. “I’m following protocol and isolating, & I will miss [this week’s World Cup races in the Austrian town of] Lienz. Best of luck to my teammates…I’ll be cheering for you. Thank you all for your support. I’ll see you in the new year.”

Mikaela Shiffrin knows pain and loss. Now she’s back on top of the mountain.

Other top skiers who have tested positive recently are former overall champion Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland, Alice Robinson of New Zealand and Austrian world champion Katharina Liensberger. Poland’s Maryna Gasienica-Daniel, who finished sixth in two giant slaloms in Courchevel last week, also announced a positive test Monday and will miss the women’s giant slalom and slalom World Cup races in Lienz on Tuesday and Wednesday. Shiffrin won both events the last time the circuit made that stop in 2019.

Shiffrin leads Italy’s Sofia Goggia by 115 points in the overall World Cup standings but needs a high level of points in the giant slalom and slalom if she is to regain the season title she won in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Goggia has been all but invincible in downhill and super-G.

For the first time, Shiffrin hopes to ski all five individual events at the Olympics in Beijing, which begin Feb. 4. She has been racing a nearly full World Cup schedule and has finished no worse than second in six GS and slalom races this season. She also ranks fourth in the world in the super-G.

After Lienz, the next women’s World Cup race is a slalom competition Jan. 4 in Zagreb, Croatia.

Shiffrin won gold in the slalom at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and gold in the giant slalom in 2018 in PyeongChang, where she also won silver in the combined. With one medal in China, she would match Julia Mancuso as the most decorated U.S. female ski racer. If she could win three, she would match Janica Kostelic of Croatia and Anja Parson of Sweden with the most Olympic medals of any woman on the slopes.

Last week, she complained of fatigue and said, “my body is saying, ‘Okay, it’s time to take any sort of rest,’ ” adding that she was experiencing “something like spasms” in her back Wednesday when she hit bumps in rough patches of snow. The timing of her positive test comes just as six consecutive technical races are scheduled.

“These next couple weeks it’s also a big push, it’s also tough,” she said last week, “but I think, some point, we get into the groove, and if I can get just one day of rest [before Lienz], it should be okay.”

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