Mikaela Shiffrin is set to compete in four disciplines at the Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina ©Getty Images

Double Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin is poised to make her speed skiing return as she tackles four disciplines at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy.

The American has decided to compete in the combined, super-G, giant slalom and slalom competitions at the event, scheduled to run from tomorrow until February 21, in a bid to boost her medal collection.

It will be Shiffrin’s busiest race programme at a World Championships, where she will am to defend her slalom and super-G crowns.

Shiffrin took a break from skiing following the death of her father in February last year and was then unable to return to the slopes for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic and a back injury.

Since returning to FIS Alpine Ski World Cup action last November, Shiffrin has focused on the technical disciplines of slalom and giant slalom.

But she is now set to tackle her first speed race since triumphing in a super-G competition 13 months ago.

"I feel comfortable on the skis and it’s super fun, so I’m really going into the speed section of the World Championships with the intention almost trying to take it as an opportunity for training," Shiffrin told the Denver Post.

"Obviously it’s a race and it’s the World Championships so I’m going to be trying to ski as fast as I can and I think that I’ll be able to have a pretty good result."

Shiffrin is targeting a fifth successive slalom title and a second straight super-G crown, but Lara-Gut Benrami of Switzerland will be the strong favourite to win the super-G having dominated the event in this season’s World Cup with four victories on the spin.

"I’m not going in [thinking I'm going] 'to defend my title' - I want to be clear about that," added Shiffrin who won slalom gold at Sochi 2014 and is the reigning Olympic champion in giant slalom following her triumph at Pyeongchang 2018.

"It’s a little bit more complex than that, because I definitely haven’t trained a lot of speed.

"I’ve trained three days of speed in the last year. I’m just trying to be realistic."

Sofia Goggia of Italy has been the in-form downhill skier this season and would have been looking to clinch gold on home snow, but she has been ruled out after recently damaging her right knee in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany.

Dominik Paris of Italy boosted his hopes of claiming gold in Cortina with downhill victory at the Alpine Ski World Cup in Garmisch-Partenkirchen ©Getty Images
Dominik Paris of Italy boosted his hopes of claiming gold in Cortina with downhill victory at the Alpine Ski World Cup in Garmisch-Partenkirchen ©Getty Images

Frenchman Alexis Pinturault leads the men’s overall World Cup standings and will have high hopes of defending his combined world title in Cortina.

Italian star Dominik Paris, the reigning super-G world champion, boosted his confidence with victory in this weekend’s World Cup downhill event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

World Cup champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway will miss the World Championships because of a knee injury.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Italian officials had requested for the event to be moved to 2022 only for the FIS to confirm it would go ahead in 2021 - although no spectators will be present.

A snowy forecast has also resulted in tomorrow’s schedule being altered, with the slalom leg now preceding the super-G run in the women’s combined event.

The men’s competitions are due to begin on Tuesday (February 9) with the super-G, which will be held alongside the women’s race.

The inaugural FIS Esports Alpine World Ski Championships is also set to take place from February 8 to 21 with super-G, downhill, giant slalom and slalom races all on the schedule.

Qualification for the virtual event began in December on World Cup Ski Racing, the official Alpine racing game of the FIS.

Podium finishers will receive prizes and rewards, with winners securing the maiden FIS esports world titles.