Mikaela Shiffrin’s run through the Pyeongchang Olympics got off to a blazing start Thursday when she captured the gold medal in the women’s giant slalom.
Shiffrin, 22, was second-fastest in the first run and went on to top the field of 30 with a time of 2:20.02. Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel took silver, and Italy’s Federica Brignone won the bronze.
It’s the second career Olympic gold for Shiffrin, who also won gold in the slalom at the 2014 Sochi Games. She finished fifth in the GS at Sochi.
Hampered by high wind and weather, the women’s races were postponed twice at Yongpyong Alpine Center: The women’s giant slalom was initially scheduled for Monday but moved to Thursday, and the slalom was supposed to be Wednesday but got pushed to Friday.
The postponements mean that Shiffrin could potentially compete on back-to-back-to-back days should she elect to enter in the Super G on Saturday.
Coming into these Winter Games, there was talk about Shiffrin possibly chasing after not one or two but five medals. Given the compacted schedule because of all the delays, the plan could be altered.
Shiffrin said the flip-flopping has been particularly burdensome.
“It’s been a difficult few days, but it’s all about remaining positive and remaining energized and excited to get the Games going,” said Mike Day, Shiffrin’s coach. “At this point, the difficult days are just motivation for actually getting to compete. We’re battling a little bit of fatigue from going up and down the gondola every day and the excitement of getting ready to race and the disappointment of not getting to race. But we’re in good shape.”