Mikaela Shiffrin wins her first gold of the Winter Olympics — and she's got more to come

  • 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.

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.

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LIENZ, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 28: (FRANCE OUT) Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA takes 3rd place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on December 28, 2013 in Lienz, Austria. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
LIENZ, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 28: (FRANCE OUT) Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA takes 2nd place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on December 28, 2013 in Lienz, Austria. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
LIENZ, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 28: (FRANCE OUT) Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA takes 2nd place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on December 28, 2013 in Lienz, Austria. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Skiing - Alpine Skiing World Cup - Ladies' Slalom - Lenzerheide, Switzerland - January 28, 2018. Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. reacts at the finish line. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
U.S. alpine ski racer and reigning overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin speaks to reporters at a news conference ahead of her races at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea February 10, 2018. REUTERS/Rory Carroll
USA's Mikaela Shiffrin leaves after the women's giant slalom was postponed because of strong winds at the Jeongseon Alpine Center during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 12, 2018. Shiffrin will have to wait to kick off her bid for multiple Olympic medals after the opening women's giant slalom was postponed Monday because of strong winds. / AFP PHOTO / Javier SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 14: Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States inspects the course prior to the Alpine Skiing Ladies' Slalom on day five of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics at Yongpyong Alpine Centre on February 14, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 10: United States skier Mikaela Shiffrin attends her press conference at the Main Press Centre the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 10, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 14: Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States inspects the course prior to the Alpine Skiing Ladies' Slalom on day five of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics at Yongpyong Alpine Centre on February 14, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LENZERHEIDE, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 28: Mikaela Shiffrin of USA reacts during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom on January 28, 2018 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. (Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
LENZERHEIDE, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 28: Mikaela Shiffrin of USA in action during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom on January 28, 2018 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. (Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
US Mikaela Shiffrin reacts after missing a gate in the Women's slalom race at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup on January 28, 2018 in Lenzerheide. / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, ITALY - JANUARY 19: Mikaela Shiffrin of USA inspects the course during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Downhill on January 19, 2018 in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, ITALY - JANUARY 19: Lindsey Vonn of USA takes 2nd place, Mikaela Shiffrin of USA takes 1st place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Downhill on January 19, 2018 in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
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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.

SEE ALSO: Skeleton riders have a habit of sporting some intense helmets — here are the best ones from Pyeongchang 2018

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