Mikaela Shiffrin was nearly moved to tears before her final Olympic event by a simple sticky note attached to a pair of skis lent to her by a fellow competitor.
Italian skier Sofia Goggia had already won a silver medal in the downhill when she gave a pair of her skis to American star to use in the combined event with a note attached that said, "Fly Mika, You Can."
Goggia had been using the skis in Beijing but didn't need them because she was not competing in the combined event, which is one downhill run and one slalom run. Shiffrin borrowed Goggia's skis for the downhill portion of the event, finishing fifth in that race.
"She actually wrote a small message on them on a sticky note, and I saw it in the start and I almost started crying," Shiffrin said on the NBC broadcast.
Shiffrin didn’t share why she was borrowing Goggia’s skis, but before the event, she used them on a training run and achieved the fastest time in the field. In PyeongChang, Shiffrin lent her own skis to Czech Republic competitor Ester Ledecka, who went on to win a gold medal.
Shiffrin revealed to On Her Turf, a branch of NBC Sports, that she brought dozens of pairs of skis to Beijing with her.
Shiffrin, 26, has also been a strong supporter of Goggia, 29, whose silver medal completed an inspiring comeback from a partially-torn ACL and fractured fibula she suffered on Jan. 23 in a crash in Italy. In only a few weeks, she was able to return to earn her second Olympic medal after having previously won gold in the downhill at the 2018 Olympics.
"I hope that everybody shows her all of the support that she deserves because it’s ... a medal that was very, very, very hard-fought," Shiffrin said about Goggia, according to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team. "She won the silver, and it’s really impressive."
Her kind note was also a welcome gesture in what has been a difficult Olympics for Shiffrin. The record-setting skier entered as a strong medal favorite but ended up going 0-for-5 on medals in individual events with a best showing of ninth place.
Shiffrin's final run in Beijing ended when she tripped on a gate Thursday and failed to finish the slalom portion of the combined event, making it the third race she did not complete in Beijing.
"That’s never happened in my entire career, so I don’t understand it, but there was so much positive that’s happened in the last couple weeks just by how much it really stinks," she said on the broadcast. "Sometimes you just have to take it, I guess."