Another Olympian Lent Mikaela Shiffrin Skis — and Emotional Note — Before Race: 'Almost Started Crying'

In her final individual event in Beijing, Shiffrin sought to earn her first medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics during the women's Alpine combined race

Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin. Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Mikaela Shiffrin returned to compete in the Olympic women's Alpine combined race on Thursday, which was her last chance to leave the 2022 Winter Games with an individual medal.

The 26-year-old skidded out during the slalom portion of the event (which includes both a downhill and slalom run) to record her third "did not finish" in Beijing.

While speaking to NBC before the race, Shiffrin — a three-time Olympic medal winner — admitted she had concerns heading in.

"I'm not feeling totally confident with the slalom," she said. "I mean, I have a recurring image of myself skiing out on the fifth gate again, so I'm just going to do my best."

She had support from another competitor: Italian gold medalist Sofia Goggia loaned Shiffrin a pair of skis for the downhill race, according to NBC and — and Goggia left a supportive note.

"She didn't need them because she wasn't competing here so I was able to try them yesterday. Then I was able to ski on them today," Shiffrin told NBC. "She actually wrote a small message on them on a sticky note, when I saw it in the start I almost started crying … It was just like, 'You can fly on these skis', or something like that."

U.S. officials later shared a photo of the note, which read, "FLY MIKA, YOU CAN."

An international skiing star, Shiffrin has had an uncharacteristic showing so far at these Winter Olympics.

On Feb. 6, she wiped out just moments into her run during the giant slalom race, disqualifying her from the event and ending her 30-race steak. She had hoped to defend her 2018 Winter Olympics gold medal and would've become the first American Alpine skier to earn three gold medals in her discipline if she had won.

Then, Shiffrin skied out of her second event of this year's Olympics. While competing in the women's slalom, she missed the fourth gate and recorded another "DNF."

"I think I just slipped, I mean I had every intention to go full gas," she told NBC after the race. "And there wasn't really space in the course to slip even, not even a little bit. I didn't give myself space for that, and in my experience, that mentality has brought my best skiing and today I went out on the fifth gate."

During the women's downhill event on Feb. 15, Shiffrin finished in 18th place with a time of 1:34.36, putting her nearly three seconds behind first place.

Shiffrin has won three medals (two gold, one silver) from her two previous Games, in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and in 2014 in Sochi, Russia. If Shiffrin wins one more medal in Beijing, she would tie Julia Mancuso for the most Olympic medals by an American woman.

Speaking with PEOPLE in November about the pressures Olympic athletes face, Shiffrin opened up about dealing with the ups and downs that come with competing at such a high level.

"At the end of the day, you can drive yourself crazy looking at numbers and thinking about records and if you're going to break it or if you're not going to break it, and you can set yourself up to feel disappointed for the rest of your life," she said.

RELATED VIDEO: Skier Mikaela Shiffrin Sometimes Sings a Classic Children's Song in Her Head While Competing

"But ... my whole career, it's been successful," Shiffrin added. "It's been highs and lows but I'm really proud of it. And I'm still racing. I'm not done yet, but I can look back and feel proud already."

To learn more about Team USA, visit Watch the Winter Olympics, now, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

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