2018 Winter Olympics: U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin wins giant slalom gold
The legend is growing. The Olympics could be hers.
Mikaela Shiffrin’s quest for unprecedented dominance in PyeongChang began as she envisioned, with the 22-year-old United States skiing phenomenon claiming gold in the giant slalom Thursday. Shiffrin finished 0.39 seconds faster than Ragnhild Mowinckel, of Norway, who took silver, while Federica Brignone, of Italy, took bronze.
Shiffrin, who became the youngest-ever slalom champion in Olympic history during the 2014 Sochi Games, now has two career gold medals, and will attempt to become the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the slalom Friday.
“To be honest, it’s incredible,” Shiffrin told NBC afterward. “Since Sochi, I got fifth in [giant slalom], and I thought, I’m not the best GS skier, so I don’t deserve to win a gold medal, or even a medal in GS, and I set a goal to become the best GS skier in the world.”
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With her first triumph, Shiffrin passed Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Pröll for the most victories (42) before age 23, and with two more gold medals, Shiffrin would tie Croatia’s Janica Kostelic for the most all time among female alpine skiers.
But the Colorado native’s goal of winning multiple golds has become even more difficult, following her delayed debut due to two days of weather postponements.
Entering the Games planning to race in as many as five events, with hopes of becoming the first-ever skier to medal in each race at the same Olympics, Shiffrin will compete on three consecutive days, should she enter Saturday’s Super-G (in which Lindsey Vonn will race in the Olympics for the first time 2010 — she missed Sochi due to injury — in her fourth, and likely, final Games).
Shiffrin’s grueling schedule will include the downhill (Feb. 20) and super combined (Feb. 22), and could result in her skiing each of the final 10 days of the Olympics, including training runs.
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“To come here and do that today was incredible, but of course now I have the slalom,” Shiffrin said. “I’m trying to get the emotions under control and focus again.
“We had the race today and that’s definitely giving me an extra boost of adrenalines, and hopefully I can take that into [slalom].”
This report originally appeared on NYPost.com.
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