PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Mikaela Shiffrin, the almost unbeatable U.S. slalom skier, proved she had successfully expanded her world-class repertoire by winning the 2018 Olympic giant slalom Thursday.
After putting up the second-fastest time on the first run, behind the little-known Italian Manuela Moelgg, Shiffrin skied the top of second run with cool efficiency and a veteran’s precision. She built a huge lead that protected her against a slip-up with a handful of gates remaining.
“I can go harder in the second run,” Shiffrin said after the first run. “And there’s nothing to hold back in the second run.”
She took advantage of the course being on the “turny” side, which helps skiers like her with outstanding technique. Shiffrin’s combined time of 2:20.02 was 0.39 seconds better than that of the runner-up, Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway. Federica Brignone of Italy won the bronze, while Moelgg slipped to eighth.
Shiffrin said in Sochi that she hoped to win all five gold medals in four years’ time: “Right now I’m dreaming of the next Olympics, winning five gold medals — which sounds really crazy.”
She may not win five, but with her giant slalom win, and her specialty the slalom still to come, Shiffrin is in position for a special games.