Mikaela Shiffrin finished ninth in women's super-G well behind gold medalist Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland
Gut-Behrami established an early lead with a time of 1:13.51.
None of her 43 competitors were able to match it.
She skied to the bottom of the slope Friday, Shiffrin smiled, breathing heavily, but appeared relieved.
"I just skied strong, and it's a really big relief to be here now in the finish, having skied a run well," Shiffrin said
I wasn't skiing safe or anything, but I also did get to the finish and that's really nice for my heart to know that it's not totally abandoning everything I thought I knew about the sport.
The Beijing Olympics were supposed to be Shiffrin's chance to become the first Alpine ski racer from the U.S. to win three Olympic gold medals
There's a lot of emotions," Shiffrin said after the women's super-G. "[It was] not really easy to reset and know if I was up for the challenge today.
Shiffrin said she received tons of support from fellow professional athletes and fans
On early Friday, she tweeted, "I can't express how grateful I am to have the opportunity to refocus on a new race, in the sport that I love so much. Onward.