Shiffrin Wins Giant Slalom Gold
It took a few days, but the wait was very worthwhile as Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) won the giant slalom gold medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games Thursday.
After three days of howling winds at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre that first postponed the giant slalom – originally scheduled for Monday – then Wednesday’s slalom event, racers were finally greeted with sunshine and a hard-fast course.
“I skied well,” Shiffrin said after the first run in which she finished second to Italy’s Manuela Moelgg by 0.02-seconds. “I skied loose and I put some of my good skiing from training in there. But I also feel like I can go a little bit harder and there’s nothing to hold back for on the second run. That’s the nice thing about the Olympics – you don’t hold back!"
Indeed, she held nothing back in the second run, posting the fastest time to move atop the leaderboard and put all the pressure on Moelgg, which was too much for the Italian as she slipped to eighth. Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel won the silver, while Italy’s Federica Brignone won the bronze.
“I feel like my best was good enough today," said Shiffrin after her win. "To have an opportunity to win a medal at the Olympics at all is incredible, so for me, today was special. After Sochi, I set a goal that I wanted to come to the next Olympics and I wanted to be one of the best giant slalom skiers in the world. It’s never easy, and I put a lot of fight into the second run, and it feels incredible.”
Three-time Olympians Megan McJames (Park City, Utah) and Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, Wyo.) finished 31st and 36th respectively. Patricia Mangan made her Olympic debut, but slide out on the first run and did not finish.
“Skiing wise, I’m happy to have laid it all on the table,” said Mangan, who has been enjoying her first Olympic experience, including watching a number of events. “I love watching the other events … speed skating, which I have never seen before, and when you’re right there next to the rink, it’s crazy, it’s so awesome. Being at the Olympics, you have an appreciation for how much work everybody has put in to get here.”
Up next, Shiffrin defends her 2014 Olympic gold in slalom Friday, first run is 10:00 a.m. KT / 8:00 p.m. EST Thursday. The second run is 1:15 p.m. KT / 11:15 p.m. EST Thursday. Other starters for Team USA include Stiegler, McJames and Alice Merryweather (Hingham, Mass.).
Women’s giant slalom