Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin: I shunned social media during ski competition to avoid extra stress

  • "I actually just stepped away from my social media for the entire time I was competing," the 22-year-old says.
  • Shiffrin says, aside from schedule changes, the most difficult aspect of the Olympics was the media scrutiny.
  • "You can't just like blow off a tweet and expect it to be fine," she says.

Mikaela Shiffrin, a two-time Olympian, told CNBC she stayed laser-focused on winning by avoiding social media during competition at the 2018 Winter Games.

Besides the weather delays that forced her to withdraw from the downhill and super-G, Shiffrin said the most difficult aspect of the Olympics was the media scrutiny.

"Every word you say, every tweet you make is put under the microscope," the 22-year-old said in an interview from Pyeongchang, South Korea, that aired Friday on "Squawk Box." "You can't just like blow off a tweet and expect it to be fine. People are actually looking at that and reading into it."

To avoid outside distractions, Shiffrin said, "I actually just stepped away from my social media for the entire time I was competing."

"So I wasn't seeing comments. I wasn't reading anything," she said. "Because for me, that does add a certain amount of stress."

US Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin.
Srdjan Zivulovic | Reuters
US Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin.

Shiffrin won the silver on Thursday in the Alpine downhill-slalom combined, adding to her gold last week in the giant slalom. She missed a bronze by eight-hundredths of a second in the slalom, an event in which she won gold at the 2014 games.

"Basically, for the last three weeks, I haven't even gone on [social media] until yesterday after winning the silver," she said. "[I] went on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and started to catch up on things that I've been missing and posts. I started posting like wild so people were probably like what, we haven't heard from her in three weeks."

Shiffrin said she did make exceptions during her self-imposed social media blackout to make sure she kept up her commitments to her sponsors.

"So when I wanted to make a post or if I had any sort of sponsor post that I was supposed to make, I chose a picture I wanted; I wrote my caption; and sent it to my manager to post this for me," she said.

— Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer and Winter Games through the year 2032.