Countdown to Pyeongchang 2018

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service

Marcel Hirscher and Mikaela Shiffrin celebrate winning the FIS Alpine Skiing Overall World Cup in Aspen, CO, USA on March 19, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
Erich Spiess/ASP/Red Bull Content Pool

Just six months remain until the Games, who will shine on the snow?

The clock is ticking to Pyeongchang next year, with just six months to go until the XXIII Winter Olympics on August 9.

Among the star names set to take centre stage at the Games are American duo Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, both at very differing chapters in their respective careers.

At 32, Vonn has made no secret of the fact that this could be her swansong from the event.

Lindsey Vonn (USA) is seen at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in Aspen, Colorado, United States on March 16, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
Erich Spiess/ASP/Red Bull Content Pool

Having starred in Vancouver in 2010 with downhill gold and a Super-G bronze, she was expected to go on to even greater things four years on in Sochi but reinjured her right knee just a month out.

Looking ahead to 2018, she said: “I’m definitely working extremely hard and I feel like that has to do with the fact that this could potentially be my last one. So, I’m giving it everything I have.”

In contrast, while Shiffrin might seem like an old hand on the slopes so prodigious has her career been to this date, at 22 she seemingly has a host of opportunities remaining on sport’s biggest stage.

Mikaela Shiffrin performs at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in Squaw Valley, USA on March 10, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
Erich Spiess/ASP/Red Bull Content Pool

With a first overall World Cup title, Shiffrin is in the perfect position to peak once more in South Korea and made no secret of her ambitions after winning in Sochi four years ago.

At the time, she said: “Right now, I’m dreaming of the next Olympics and winning five gold medals.”

Such a target looks beyond even someone of Shiffrin’s immeasurable talents but she has the experience of shining on the world’s biggest stages, resulting in a trio of World Championship golds on the slalom course.

Following her last success, she said: “Let’s just say I’m relieved to be on the other side of the World Championships knowing that I got the job done and knowing that I can handle the pressure. Because I could be in that position again at the Olympics.”

While Vonn and Shiffrin will be two of skiing’s headline grabbers, they are just two of a litany of athletes set to make their mark in Pyeongchang.

Marcel Hirscher poses for a portrait with his trophies during a photo shooting in Salzburg, Austria on April 8, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
Andreas Tröster / BILDSYMPHONIE / Red Bull Content Pool

Astonishingly – considering his dominace with six consecutive overall World Cup titles, Marcel Hirscher does not have a gold to his name, solely a silver.

In other discplines, Petter Northug will want a third gold in cross-country while Mark McMorris and Anna Gasser will be among those leading the way in the snowboard disciplines although neither have gold in the event.

Anna Gasser performs a back side double cork 1080 at the Big Air contest during the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships at the Sierra Nevada, Spain on March 17, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
GEPA pictures/Red Bull Content Pool
Mark McMorris performs at the Red Bull Uncorked on Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, Canada on February 21, 2017 –
Photographer Credit:
Scott Serfas/Red Bull Content Pool

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