US skiing star Mikaela Shiffrin wins her first gold medal of Winter Olympics, could win several more

Tyler Lauletta, Business Insider

SKIING - The 22-year-old could potentially win four more medals for the US, and could become the greatest skier of all time

Tyler Lauletta, Business Insider |

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Mikaela Shiffrin of the US celebrates after winning the gold medal at the women's giant slalom race. Photo: EPA

Mikaela Shiffrin, who has drawn comparisons to Michael Phelps, won her first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics late Wednesday night.

After numerous delays to multiple alpine skiing events due to harsh winds, Shiffrin and the rest of the athletes competing in the women's giant slalom were finally able to take to the mountain on Wednesday.

Out of the gate, Shiffrin put down a solid first run that left her in second place heading into her final plunge down the mountain, needing only to make up two-tenths of a second on the leader to take the top spot on the podium. On her second run she blew the course away, hitting crisp turns and easily taking the gold.

She finished with a combined time of two minutes and 20.02 seconds, 0.39 seconds ahead of silver medallist Ragnhild Mowinckel from Norway.

As things stand, Shiffrin is set to compete in four more skiing events before the games come to an end, with the slalom, super-G, downhill, and the alpine combined events still to come.

It's an ambitious goal that will likely mean she's competing every day until closing ceremony, but if she succeeds, she'll have a shot at Olympic history.

Mikaela Shiffrin competing in the giant slalom.
Photo: AFP

No skier, man or woman, has ever won more than three gold medals at one Olympics, or four golds over the course of their Olympic career. This year, Shiffrin has the chance to tie or even break both of those marks, and could become the most decorated skier in Olympic history.

After the giant slalom, she's one-for-one, with four to go.

This story appeared originally on Business Insider as "Mikaela Shiffrin wins her first gold of the Winter Olympics — and she's got more to come"