Andre Myhrer believes the “enormous expectations” on Mikaela Shiffrin have contributed to her struggles at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Shiffrin, one of the most decorated skiers in history, was predicted to compete for several medals in China.
However, she has failed to complete either of her races so far, missing a gate early in Monday’s giant slalom and then being disqualified in the slalom on Wednesday.
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The two-time gold medallist struggled to hold back tears as she spoke about how she felt “pretty awful” following the second disqualification.
“I can just imagine how much pressure she's been under the last year going into this Games,” said Eurosport expert and Olympic gold medallist Myhrer.
“All the expectations that everyone has on her are enormous and it must be hard for her. What we have to remember is that behind a superstar like Mikaela who is winning and winning - something the media just take for granted - is just a person with a dream to achieve greatness and who started to ski because they loved it.
“The victories and the success is not just something that happens, there is hard work and more hard work behind it to keep winning year after year.

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“The emotional rollercoaster that these athletes are exposed to is very demanding and combine that with her father’s tragic death in 2020, the amount of things she has to handle is overwhelming and I think she feels like she need to save her energy levels and channel them into her performance.”
US gymnast Simone Biles and former US skier Lindsey Vonn are among the sports stars who have rallied around Shiffrin.
Vonn said on Twitter she was “gutted” for Shiffrin, and added: “This does not take away from her storied career and what she can and will accomplish going forward. Keep your head high.”
Biles tagged Shiffrin in a tweet alongside three white hearts.
Shiffrin's boyfriend, fellow skier Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, also posted on social media to ask fans to support the American.
Some of the coverage of Shiffrin in the USA has been criticised after cameras continued to show her as she sat forlornly on the course following her disqualification.
Shiffrin is set to compete in three more events in Beijing, although whether she does so remains to be seen.
“I have seen some of the interviews she did and I have to hand it to her, she is a pro on all levels,” said Myhrer.

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“Even if her dream of gold in the tech events has ended she is standing there and answering on all the questions in what I’ve seen a perfect way - knowing what she really feels in that moment and could say it’s remarkable to say the least that she can keep it together.
“So, all in all, I think this could be good for her in the short-term but hard if she wants to keep it that way, because we also have to remember that being an athlete on her level also comes expectations from her surroundings.
“I totally understand the media's side of this story, but as a former athlete and fellow human being, I say give her some space and remember all the countless hours she actually did spend answering questions. I think that has to be worth something as well.”
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