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- Mikaela Shiffrin won her first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics in giant slalom after two near-perfect runs.
- It was the first of five events Shiffrin plans to compete in over the course of the Winter Games, with slalom, super-G, downhill, and the alpine combined events still to come.
- While there’s still a long way to go, Shiffrin has the chance to become the first skier in history to win four gold medals at a single Winter Olympics.
Mikaela Shiffrin won her first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics late Wednesday night.
After numerous delays to multiple alpine skiing events due to inclement weather, Shiffrin and the rest of the athletes competing in Ladies’ giant slalom were finally able to take to the mountain on Wednesday.
Out of the gate, Shiffrin put down a solid first run that left her in second place heading into her final plunge down the mountain, needing only to make up two-tenths of a second on the leader to take the top spot on the podium. On her second run she blew the course away, hitting crisp turns and taking gold with what looked like relative ease.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 15, 2018
Only 22 years old, it’s already Shiffrin’s second gold medal, after the young skier took home gold in the Ladies’ Slalom event at Sochi 2014. While any athlete would be thrilled to add just one such piece of hardware to their trophy case, Shiffrin’s Olympic mission is far from over.
As things stand, Shiffrin is set to compete in four more skiing events before the games come to an end, with the slalom, super-G, downhill, and the alpine combined events still to come.
It’s an ambitious goal that will likely mean she’s competing every day until closing ceremony, but if she succeeds, she’ll have a shot at Olympic history.
No skier, man or woman, has ever won more than three gold medals at one Olympics, or four golds over the course of their Olympic career. This year, Shiffrin has the chance to tie or even break both of those marks, and could become the most decorated skier in Olympic history.
After the giant slalom, she’s one-for-one, with four to go.