The Alpine gold rush is on.
Mikaela Shiffrin began her much-anticipated debut at the 2018 Winter Olympics on Thursday by taking the gold medal in the giant slalom competition.
She finished with a total of 2:20.02. Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway took silver with 2:20.41 and Federica Brignone of Italy won bronze in 2:20.49.
Shiffrin was in second place after her first run at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre. Combined times of the two runs determine the winner. Shiffrin was fifth in this event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
In those Games, Shiffrin, then 18, became the youngest skier to win a gold medal in the slalom. She has got bigger ambitions here.
She is expected to compete in all five individual Alpine events and win up to three gold medals. Her medal quest was delayed twice by weather, with the giant slalom originally set for Sunday before being rescheduled for Thursday and the slalom set for Wednesday before being rescheduled for Friday.
“Oh my gosh, last night I was like, are we ever going to race?’’ Shiffrin, 22 said after her first run. “No, it’s really nice. It’s fair today which is really, really important at the Olympics. The conditions are great, the weather is beautiful and it’s a pleasure to be racing today.’’