Shiffrin wins sec­ond ca­reer gold, pos­si­bly more on hori­zon

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - SPORTS - By Pat Gra­ham

PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA >> One Olympic gold medal down for Mikaela Shiffrin. More just might be on deck.

The 22-year-old Amer­i­can used a hard-charg­ing fi­nal run to win the gi­ant slalom to­day for her sec­ond ca­reer Olympic ti­tle. She trailed by 0.20 sec­onds af­ter the first run, but pow­ered through a course filled with ruts to quickly make up time in the sec­ond.

Shiffrin ended up 0.39 sec­onds ahead of Ragn­hild Mow­inckel of Nor­way at Yong­py­ong Alpine Cen­ter. Fed­er­ica Brignone of Italy took bronze, 0.46 be­hind Shiffrin’s com­bined time of 2 min­utes, 20.02 sec­onds. First-run leader Manuela Moelgg of Italy wound up eighth.

At the 2014 Sochi Games, Shiffrin won the slalom ti­tle at age 18. She will de­fend that ti­tle Fri­day.

It was an ideal day for rac­ing, with the tem­per­a­ture around 21 de­grees Fahren­heit (mi­nus-6 de­grees Cel­sius) and the wind about 8 mph (13 kph). That’s quite a dif­fer­ence from the last few days when three of the open­ing four races were post­poned be­cause of weather and strong wind. The women’s gi­ant slalom was ini­tially sched­uled for Mon­day but moved to to­day. The slalom was sup­posed to be Wed­nes­day, but got pushed to Fri­day.

Com­ing into the Pyeongchang Olympics, there was talk about Shiffrin pos­si­bly chas­ing af­ter five medals. She’s cer­tainly off to a great start, plac­ing her hand over her heart right af­ter see­ing her time. She later fell to the snow in ex­cite­ment.

The only thing that might slow down Shiffrin is ex­haus­tion, due to the com­pacted sched­ule be­cause of all the de­lays. The flip-flop­ping of events 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.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States dropped to the snow af­ter win­ning the gold medal in the women’s gi­ant slalom in Pyeongchang, South Korea, to­day.

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