18-Year-Old American Mikaela Shiffrin Becomes Youngest-Ever Gold Medal Winner In Women’s Slalom


1. After stopping hearts across the country by appearing to briefly lose her balance during her second run, 18-year-old Colorado native Mikaela Shiffrin won the women’s slalom in Sochi today.


2. Shiffrin held the lead after the day’s first run, which meant she was the last contender to ski in the second round. During which her left leg flew up JUST enough on a turn to scare the crap out of everyone watching.

3. But Shiffrin recovered — and won gold by a half-second.

Alexander Hassenstein / Getty

4. It’s her first medal, and given that she’s now the youngest women’s slalom winner in Olympic history, hopefully the first of many.

Olivier Morin / Getty

5. Here’s a cool thing about the Olympics: In that half-second that she corrected course after losing her balance, Shiffrin changed her life. This morning Mikaela Shiffrin was a well-known skier. Tonight she’s a star. Not a bad day, all told.

Doug Pensinger / Getty

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