Tags: mikaela shiffrin | social media | blackout

Mikaela Shiffrin: Social Media Blackout Helps Me Focus on Skiing

Image: Mikaela Shiffrin: Social Media Blackout Helps Me Focus on Skiing
USA's gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin kisses her medal on the podium during the medal ceremony for the women's alpine skiing giant slalom during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Feb. 15, 2018. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 15 February 2018 04:13 PM

U.S. Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin has imposed a social media blackout on herself during the Winter Olympics to lessen her anxiety over competing.

Shiffrin has not been on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for two weeks to block distractions leading up to the competition. She said her agent has posted a few times on her behalf.

“I haven’t been looking at what people are saying,” Shiffrin told USA Today. “I haven’t been watching (TV) really much. I watch in Korean, so that’s easy because I can’t understand anything.”

She said being away from social media and TV “helps a lot. Because if I can’t see it then I don’t know what people are saying and it really feels like it is just me out there, and then I can just ski for myself.”

Shiffrin worked with a sports psychologist last winter to deal with growing anxiety over performing at an international level, USA Today reported, and the three-day delay of her first event had the potential to bring that anxiety to a crippling level. 

Instead, Shiffrin spent the time with her family and boyfriend, French Olympic skier Mathieu Faivre. Then Thursday, the day of her first event, she said she was able to eat breakfast. “Normally on race day it’s not easy for me to do that,” she admitted to USA Today. 

After an initial run that left her in second place, Shiffrin said she took a nap. She later took the gold in her second run, shaving 1.26 seconds off her first-run time. The performance was in line with expectations that she could win multiple gold medals in Pyeongchang — expectations that she doesn’t want to hear about on social media. 

Shiffrin will compete Friday in the women’s slalom, which she earned a gold medal for in Sochi in  2014, but for now, she is just enjoying the experience and taking each event as it comes.

“It was incredible to take so much risk in that second run,” Shiffrin said, USA Today reported.

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U.S. Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin has imposed a social media blackout on herself during the Winter Olympics to lessen her anxiety over competing.
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2018-13-15
Thursday, 15 February 2018 04:13 PM
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