YANQING, China (Reuters) – French Alpine skier Tessa Worley is unfazed by the strong competition in the giant slalom at the Beijing Olympics and feeling more relaxed than at the 2018 Games in South Korea which ended in disappointment for her, she said on Saturday.
Asked if she saw herself among the favourites in the women’s giant slalom on Monday, she said: “I would be lying if I said no.”
Worley, who lies second in the World Cup giant slalom standings this season, finished seventh in the discipline at the 2018 Olympics and 28th in the super-G.
“The take-away from Pyeongchang is that I came with all the cards and could not perform,” Worley told a news conference. “I was too closed, too focused on the sole sporting aspect. It’s a unique event and you need to enjoy every moment of it.
“I’m having fun on the skis and it shows. It’s something that allows me to be relaxed on the skis and to give everything. I know the competition is tough but you have to live the moment and enjoy.”
She will find difficult rivals at the Beijing Games in Sweden’s Sara Hector, who leads the giant slalom World Cup standings, 2018 Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States and Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, the 2019 world champion.
“In giant slalom there are a lot of girls who can perform. We’re at least a dozen (who are) able to end up on the podium. You can expect anything; it’s the discipline where the competition is the toughest.”
(Reporting by Julien Pretot, writing by Shadia Nasralla; editing by Clare Fallon)