Mikaela Shiffrin admitted she felt like a "joke" after failing to finish her third event at the Winter Olympics on Thursday when she skied out during the slalom portion of the women's combined event.
Shiffrin, who has won more World Cup slalom races than any other skier in history, arrived in China targeting five medals but crashed out of both the slalom and giant slalom and finished 18th in the women’s downhill.
"Right now, I just feel like a joke," said Shriffin, who said she was baffled about her inability to finish in three events at the Games, given her previous exemplary record when it comes to getting over the line.
"Sixty per cent of my DNF rate for my entire career has happened at this Olympic Games," said Shiffrin, whose only chance of redemption in Beijing now lies in the forthcoming team event.
Shiffrin insisted that it was not the weight of expectations that led to her failing to finish.
The American was a strong favourite to win gold in the combined event and was well placed after finishing fifth fastest in the morning's downhill leg. But returning to the Ice River course, Shiffrin missed a gate and skied out yet again.
Switzerland's defending champion Michelle Gisin won gold in the event for a second time, sharing the podium with compatriot and silver medallist Wendy Holdener. Italian Brignone landed the bronze.
There were no tears from Shiffrin, as there were after she skied out of the slalom, and no excuses as she discussed her failure at these Games.
"In general, people want to be able to say it's a pressure thing," she said. "There are certainly points during the Games where I felt the weight of pressure and expectations. But, in general, when I was racing, it wasn't the case.
"And it certainly wasn't more than I ever experienced in my career before. The pressure is there. It's always there. I don't feel uncomfortable or even unfamiliar with it.
"I'm going to come back out tomorrow and ski some parallel GS because I'm that much of an idiot"
"Today, I felt I had a pretty calm, solid mentality. Nothing too crazy. Of course I wanted to win a medal. But before that I just wanted to take the opportunity to ski another run of slalom on this hill.
"The whole shebang in sport is that you can have preparation, you can have confidence... You can have all these pieces and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
"I have literally no idea why we keep coming back and doing it, especially after today. But I'm going to come back out tomorrow and ski some parallel GS (giant slalom) because I'm that much of an idiot."
A six-times world champion, Shiffrin won gold in giant slalom in Pyeongchang after winning in slalom at Sochi in 2014. She also claimed a silver medal in the combined four years ago in South Korea.
She spoke of her disappointment but said she would be ignoring the naysayers over her Beijing performances.
"There's going to be a whole chaotic mess of crap that people are saying about how I just fantastically failed these last couple of weeks in the moments that actually counted," she added.
"It's really strange, but I'm not even afraid of that right now. Maybe that's because I literally have zero emotional energy to give anymore."
After finishing the downhill section of the combined 0.56 seconds off the lead, a distance she could easily make up, Shiffrin said she changed tactics for the slalom, trying to learn from previous mistakes on the Ice River course.
"If you compare it with the slalom race, I was calmer, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense because after the slalom, in a lot of ways, I maybe should have been more nervous," she said.
"I wasn't hesitating or something... I didn't even take the same mentality. Like the slalom race maybe I was pushing too hard. It's hard to say.
"So today I took a different tactic. And it was literally fine and then I was off the course again."