Mikaela Shiffrin claims gold in giant slalom to kick off her second Olympics

By in Press Enterprise on February 15, 2018

By John Meyer

Mikaela Shiffrin had to wait three days to kick off her second Olympics because of weather delays, but she seized the moment in spectacular fashion when it finally came Wednesday night, claiming the gold medal in giant slalom.

Shiffrin, who took silver in giant slalom at the 2017 world championships, is the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in GS since Julie Mancuso stormed through a fierce snowstorm at the 2006 Turin Games to claim gold. Two other American women have won Olympic giant slaloms, Debbie Armstrong (1984) and Andrea Mead Lawrence (1952).

It was Shiffrin’s second career Olympic gold medal, following her slalom title at the 2014 Sochi Games when she was known as a slalom phenom. Now she’s on top of the world in two events, thanks to an eye-popping second run.

“For me the biggest thing is that, with my GS, it’s so special with how it’s been building this year,” Shiffrin told NBC after the race. “I got fifth in Sochi, I was two-10ths off the podium and I thought, ‘I am not the best GS skier, so I don’t deserve to win a gold medal or even a medal in GS.’ At that time I set a goal to become the best GS skier in the world. My GS skiing right now, it’s so incredible to be able to put down a run that was really taking risks and fighting for it. I’m so happy for that.”

Wednesday’s win raised the stakes for Thursday’s slalom, an event in which Shiffrin is an overwhelming favorite. Mead Lawrence is the only American woman who has won two gold medals in one Olympics. Shiffrin also is a strong medal contender in next week’s alpine combined.

Shiffrin was second-fastest in the first run, 0.2 of a second behind Manuela […]    

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