Mikaela Shiffrin said she was 'kind of puking' before first slalom run

Shiffrin conquers her demons to seize gold

Before you tune in to the Women's Alpine Skiing Olympic coverage tonight (live at 8 p.m. EST on NBC), you may want to know a little more about one of the event's top competitors, Mikaela Shiffrin. The problem was, she also had a race the next day. Shiffrin could race four more times in Pyeongchang and has a shot to join elite company here. Then Shiffrin skied off course near the end of the second run in an uncharacteristic mess up. She's one of the most decorated women in the sport of snowboarding, except at the Olympics. Svindal, 35, is the oldest man to win Olympic gold in Alpine skiing.

But none could touch the reigning World Cup overall champion who hopes her performance is the first of a big medal haul in Korea. Shiffrin, 22 said after her first run.

Alpine skiing athletes have been dealing with delays in their events because of strong winds in Pyeongchang. Her lines are demanding and aggressive. "Now we've been race-ready for the past basically five days in a row".

"The snow's awesome today", she said during Thursday's race.

Her go-to workout song is Daft Punk's "Get Lucky".

Her mother said the nervousness was due to challenges in finding adequate training time prior to the season and to overcome her anxiety she began working with a sports psychologist. The conditions are great.

(L-R) Silver medalist Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway, gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin and bronze medalist Federica Brignone of Italy celebrate on the podium after the women's giant slalom at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on February 15, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. The 22-year-old finished fifth in the giant slalom at the 2014 Winter Olympics and boldly stated that there was no way she was going to finish fifth in 2018. "She's so in there and she can do it better than us". I could be a lot cleaner for the second run.

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Shiffrin tried to focus on only one run - her own - and knew her first pass through the course put her in good position.

"I can remember, fighting, being set back, conquering obstacles, and experiencing the ups and downs of striving to better myself every single day".

Those feelings manifested themselves at the start of the second run in the afternoon.

She used a hard-charging final run to win her second career Olympic gold medal.

Mikaela Shiffrin had nearly a week of pent-up anticipation before barrelling down a white carpet above a mountain village boasting this country's coldest average temperatures that mercifully backed off Thursday in time for the women's giant slalom.

Shiffrin finished in 49.37 seconds.

But ahead of her gold medal race, there were nerves of steel and celebration as she accepted the applause of scores of fans waving the Stars and Stripes. Her work ethic is already gathering a mystique, but watching her reveals an enormous intuitive gift as well. And she's just getting started at these games. "The toughest thing is just to mentally tide yourself over until it is time to go", she said. And we're finally racing today. "I'm really excited for tomorrow".

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