Mikaela Shiffrin has removed long-time coach Jeff Lackie from her entourage ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The 26-year-old, who became the most successful World Cup skier ever last week, came to the decision after Lackie contracted a case of Covid-19 which has confined him to his home in Toronto in recent weeks.
Shiffrin has moved quickly to address the gap in her entourage by bringing in Coley Oliver as Lackie's loose replacement. Oliver was previously involved with the now-defunct Team X as well as having a role on the US women's Europa Cup team.
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Lackie shared his thoughts about the move to Ski Racing Media on Monday.
"It’s important that Mikaela has a team around her that’s going to be able to provide what she needs, especially in the lead-up to something as stressful as the Olympic Games,” Lackie said.
"So, the decision was made to replace me, and I’m incredibly proud of what I was able to accomplish with Mikaela over the past six years.
“I’m proud to say we developed an all-around skier who was highly competitive in all events.
“She still has a lot more to accomplish. I wish her and the team the best of luck and hope things go well in China.”
The reshuffle was also confirmed by alpine director for the US Ski Team, Jesse Hunt.
"Given the ongoing Covid challenges, and with Jeff being back in Canada for a few weeks now, it’s been decided that he will not return to Team Shiffrin leading up to Beijing," Hunt said.
Shiffrin will be going for her third Olympic gold medal in Beijing having triumphed in the slalom in 2014 in Sochi, before winning the giant slalom in 2018 in Pyeongchang.
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