It was a historic Friday night on the Rosa Khotur Olympic course as American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin skied away with a gold medal and became the youngest ever to win an Olympic gold medal in the Women’s Slalom event.
The 18-year-old prodigy lived up to the Olympic hype that surrounded her before the Winter Games began, and made it look easy on the steep hills and wild turns during her Olympic gold run.
The Colorado native held a commanding lead after the first-run of the night, as she clocked in with a time of 52.6. She was on top of the leaderboard, and in what is considered to be her best Alpine Skiing discipline of the Winter Games – the Olympic gold medal was hers to lose.
As she roared past the gates on her second-run, Shiffrin was a split-second away from losing her gold medal hopes on the hill but quickly managed to get her skis back under her, and effortlessly adjusted to the racecourse as she continued to ski past the gates with incredible speed until she crossed the finish line as the new Olympic queen in Slalom.
Shiffrin finished with a combined total time of 1:44.54 after her 51.92 time in her second-run. The Olympic champion won by 0.53 seconds as her childhood idol from Austria, Marlies Schild won the silver medal. Schild’s Olympic teammate, Kathrin Zettel won the bronze medal.
On Tuesday, Shiffrin made her Olympic debut in the Giant Slalom discipline and finished 5th. She didn’t make the podium then, but in her second Olympic event, she made sure it was a different story.
The new Slalom Olympic champion became the youngest ever to win, and also the first American woman to win a Slalom medal of any color since 1972 when Barbara Cochran won gold in the Sapporo Winter Olympics.
As Shiffrin finished on top of the podium Friday night, it was clear to everyone that the passing of the torch from U.S. superstar skier Lindsey Vonn was complete and the United States has a new Olympic superstar for the future.
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