Mikaela Shiffrin finally made her much-anticipated debut at the 2018 Winter Olympics on Thursday (Korean time) by winning gold in the giant slalom.
She finished with a two-run total of 2:20.02. Silver went to Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway with 2:20.41 and Federica Brignone of Italy bronze in 2:20.49.
Shiffrin was in second place after her first run, an event she was fifth in at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. After that race she said she would not be fifth in the next Olympics, a vow she kept, even if she didn’t remember it:
“I forgot about that,” she said on NBC right after the race. “It’s been a work in progress every season with the giant slalom. And it seems I’ve come up just a little bit short. There was always somebody better than me.”
But not this year, this is her time.
“It’s incredible,” she said. “I’m so happy.”
In the 2014 Sochi Games, Shiffrin, then 18, became the youngest skier to win a gold medal in the slalom. She has much bigger ambitions here. She is expected to compete in four events and be in the running for medals in each. She was originally planning to try five, but unfortunately, weather delays compressed the scheduled and caused her to skip Saturday’s Super-G.
Her medal quest was postponed twice by weather, with the giant slalom originally set for Sunday before being rescheduled for Thursday and the slalom set for Wednesday before being rescheduled for Friday.
“Oh my gosh, last night I was like, are we ever going to race?’’ Shiffrin, 22 said after her first run. “No, it’s really nice. It’s fair today which is really, really important at the Olympics. The conditions are great, the weather is beautiful and it’s a pleasure to be racing today.’’
Congratulations, surely the first of many gold medals this games. The whole country is behind you, GO MIKAELA!!