Mikaela Shiffrin won't allow the 2022 Winter Olympics to define her career.
The U.S. alpine skier and two-time Olympic gold medalist might have felt like a punchline after battling through weeks of adversity on the slopes, but she's beginning to find perspective and learning it's "a little bit OK to laugh" at her string of "DNFs" in Beijing.
"At a certain point, it just feels like you -- you kind of just have to laugh it," Shiffrin said. "There are people out there who probably are laughing at my situation -- not in a particularly kind way -- but it's OK to say that it was a pretty epic underperformance. I didn't get anywhere close to the results that I had the potential to get.
"And I certainly had ample opportunity" she added, with a giggle. "I don't think there's anyone in the history of alpine ski racing who's raced what will be six competitions in a Winter Games. And that's because we now have the team event which was added to the original five competitions."
Shiffrin displayed some self depreciation.
"I'm still breaking records just not necessarily the one people want to see," she laughed.
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"It does feel like a joke," she added. "My statistics for DNF'ing went up 80% in the last two weeks."
Of course, it's not all a laughing matter for Shiffrin who prides herself on being an elite performer.
"It's not funny to me because I take it serious but honestly it's a little bit OK to laugh."
Shiffrin has one more chance to medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics when she takes part in the alpine skiing team event.
The United States will be one of 15 nations slated to compete in the tournament style competition, and for the first time in her Olympic career, Shiffrin is in the U.S. squad.
The competition begins at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 18.