There is a reason why Mikaela Shiffrin is expected to be the next Lindsey Vonn. The 18-year-old competed in her first ever Olympic event on Wednesday and placed fifth in the giant slalom.
“I wanted a gold, but I also think this was meant to happen,” she said. “It’s something I will learn from the next Olympics I go to I’m sure.”
“It’s amazing to be at my first Olympics and have that first race out of the way,” said Shiffrin, who finished fifth. “That was also a very cool race to be a part of, especially with the top three girls, they really raced well.”
The weather conditions made her placement even more significant. The hills and slopes were filled with heavy fog and rain was pouring down, which made the mostly fake snow slushy. The fact that the rookie handled it so well makes one wonder how well she would have done if it was a sunny day.
Shiffrin took it in stride and said she will analyze the four skiers who beat her. There were only a few mistakes, but they were costly. She lost tenths of a second on the second run, but she could not make it up. She wants to get better as she is the favorite going into the slalom on Friday.
No American woman has won the gold in alpine skiing. Julia Mancuso won the bronze in the super combined, but did not finish the first run in the giant slalom. She tweeted out that she will skip the slalom and go home to celebrate her bronze medal.