Mikaela Shiffrin was expected to dominate the 2018 Winter Olympics for the United States and her assault on podiums began on Thursday in Pyeongchang. Shiffrin took home gold in the giant slalom — her second-best event — thanks to a dominant second run.
Shiffrin was in the second spot by 0.2 seconds after the first run, then went out and on the second and absolutely dominated. After the final skier crossed the line and it was clear she had won, Shiffin fell to her knees and cried tears of happiness. Competitors then raced over to embrace her.
America’s biggest star at these Olympics had to wait several days to finally get on the slopes, but she did not disappoint when she got there. The 22-year-old finished fifth in the giant slalom at the 2014 Winter Olympics and boldly stated that there was no way she was going to finish fifth in 2018. She was right.
Shiffrin’s first run was fast, but she left some time on the course with a few messy turns. She finished with a time of 1:10.82, while Italy’s Manuela Molgg was the leader at 1:10.62. But on the second run, Shiffrin was clearly on a mission. She just attacked the course and threw down a time of 1:09.20 which gave her a total of 2:20.02, and a dominant, 0.39-second win.
Shiffrin will compete in the slalom (her best event) on Friday (Pyeongchang time), then will have at least two more chances for gold in the combined and the downhill, and could also compete in the super-G.
After winning a gold in the slalom at the 2014 Sochi Games, Shiffrin has become a superstar. She’s established herself as the world’s best skier, and proved that again on Thursday, securing another huge win. And she’s just getting started at these games.