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Eight days after positive coronavirus test, Mikaela Shiffrin to return to World Cup competition

Mikaela Shiffrin is set to return to skiing Tuesday after testing positive for the coronavirus last week. (Vladimir Simicek/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)
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Two-time Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin, who tested positive for the coronavirus Dec. 27, is returning to the women’s World Cup at a slalom Tuesday in Zagreb, Croatia. In an Instagram post, Shiffrin wrote “See you tomorrow, Zagreb,” signaling her return to the World Cup circuit where the next races are taking place.

Seven days ago, Shiffrin posted on Instagram that she had tested positive and was isolating, causing her to miss World Cup races in Lienz, Austria.

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

“I wanted to let you all know that I’m doing well, but unfortunately I had a positive covid test,” Shiffrin said on Instagram after racing in Courchevel, France. “I’m following protocol and isolating, & I will miss [this week’s World Cup races in] 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.”

She joined a number of other participants who have missed time because of the coronavirus. Her U.S. teammate Nina O’Brien tested positive, as did Swiss skiers Camille Rast, Aline Danioth, Mélanie Meillard and Lara Gut-Behrami. World champion Katharina Liensberger of Austria and Alice Robinson of New Zealand also missed races after testing positive.

But Shiffrin received a negative result Monday, and her name was on the start list released by the International Ski Federation. Shiffrin, the winningest slalom skier of all time, will wear bib No. 7 when she competes Tuesday.

Despite missing races in Lienz last week, she maintains a 93-point lead in the overall category, ahead of Italian Sofia Goggia, who is not in Croatia for these races. Shiffrin won three straight overall titles from 2017 to 2019 and will need to use these next few races to increase her lead against her competition including Goggia, who has dominated in downhill and super-G.

Shiffrin’s biggest competition in the slalom, her best event, is Petra Vlhová of Slovakia. In last week’s race in Austria, Vlhová won that event to push herself ahead of Shiffrin by 120 points in that discipline after four of nine races. Shiffrin still leads in the giant slalom, where she finished first and second in her past two races.

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