Olimpiadas: Michel Phelps se va lleno de oro

La 'Bala de Baltimore' sumó su medalla de oro 18 de la historia y su presea 22 en su andar por Juegos Olímpicos.

Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin added silver to her medal tally in the alpine combined.
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin added silver to her medal tally in the alpine combined.
Mikaela Shiffrin added silver to her medal tally in the alpine combined.
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin added silver to her medal tally in the alpine combined.
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
<p>GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Journalists root for the story, not for any individual or team, which is why I went to the U.S.-Russia hockey game here Saturday. I thought it would be a great story if we beat the bastards. Look: I just don’t like other countries coming in to the United States to try to elect incompetent boobs. That’s our job.</p><p>Frankly, I wasn’t sure that this U.S.-Russia tilt would give me that warm Cold War feeling, but it was clear before the puck dropped that this was serious business. U.S. forward Ryan Donato said, “Even before the game there (was) a lot of tension.” That may have been an echo from 1980—this is the first Olympic tournament in a generation that features Russian pros and (mostly) American amateurs. And it may have been because hours earlier, the U.S. Justice Department indicted 13 Russian nationals for tampering with the 2016 election.</p><p>The Russians scored the first goal of the night, cutting the score to 13-1. The goal happened so quickly—instant passes from Alexander Barabanov to Sergei Mozyakin to Nikolai Prokhorkin, who scored—that it seemed like a magic trick.</p><p>It was pretty clear that the Americans can skate with the Russians, and the Americans can match the Russians’ physicality, but the Americans do not have the Russians’ skill. By the time Russia scored in the final second of the second period to take a 3-0 lead, it was clear that during the next intermission U.S. coach Tony Granato would need to make a major adjustment, like switching to baseball. The final score was 4-0.</p><p>Well, we all knew the Russians were better. And maybe it was weird to see <em>these </em>Russians as unfeeling and evil. Pavel Datsyuk, after all, played 14 dazzling seasons in the NHL without offending anybody. He even won the Lady Byng trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly play four times. But if you can’t lump an entire nation of people together using lazy stereotypes, why even have the Olympics?</p><p>This was nasty and it was fun, and man, was it chippy. Prokhorkin and enormous young American Jordan Greenway fought like a divorced couple—not an all-out brawl, just constant little disputes. Greenway said later: “I don’t know really what started it. He didn’t want to let me go. He wanted to do a little dance. I’m always down for a little dance.”</p><p>I think I know what started it. I think we all do. It all goes back to Lake Placid.</p><p>The story of the 1980 U.S. men’s hockey team often gets twisted and exaggerated for maximum dramatic effect, so let’s just stick to facts: A band of gritty American amateurs, wearing skates that had been handed down from their fathers and using sticks they carved themselves, stunned a mighty Soviet Union team, propelling the Americans to the gold medal and instantly cutting the Soviet nuclear arsenal in half. The Cold War did not officially end until a few years later, when Rocky Balboa beat Ivan Drago for the heavyweight championship, but the 1980 Olympic hockey tournament was the turning point.</p><p>Let’s face it: We have spent 38 years trying to create the Miracle on Ice. We can’t shut up about it. The world got tired of hearing about it 37 years ago. When we mention Mike Eruzione at bars, other countries leave before finishing their beers. And still we keep yapping.</p><p>There is a pretty simple reason for this, and it’s not just that the U.S. won the gold medal. The U.S. has won lots of gold medals. Michael Phelps has won so many, he leaves them as tips. The Miracle on Ice allowed America to be an underdog, and we don’t get too many chances like that. It was a lot more inspiring than Charles Barkley showing up in Barcelona and snapping an Angolan in two.</p><p>The Russians are tired of hearing that story. The U.S. is their rival on every possible level. This was reinforced four years ago in Sochi, when American T.J. Oshie scored the winning goal against Russia in a shootout.</p><p>Russia’s Ilya Kovalchuk, who scored two goals Friday and looked like he might score more, said afterward, “No anger. It’s sports. It’s emotions. After that last game in Sochi. I think you guys are still showing highlights of Oshie scoring in that shootout. Hopefully you will change it now.”</p><p>Of course we won’t. Kovalchuk knows that. But the Russians earned a bye in the quarterfinal round <em>and </em>forced the Americans to play an extra game, which meant this was like two wins for them.</p><p>The Russians are playing for so much here—a gold medal, but also a large helping of pride. Officially, this team isn’t playing for the Russian Federation, thanks to that country’s doping sanctions. They are Olympic Athletes From Russia. The Russians wore generic red uniforms with OLYMPIC ATHLETE FROM RUSSIA on them, which had to be embarrassing for everybody involved. They looked like the t-shirts your Aunt Harriet makes everybody wear when your extended family goes on a cruise. The Russians should have just worn uniforms that read I WENT TO PYEONGCHANG AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY HOCKEY JERSEY.</p><p>Nobody was fooled by the lousy outfit. These guys may not officially represent Russia, but they are undeniably <em>playing </em>for Russia.</p><p>There were Russian flags in the crowd, and rows of fans wearing shirts that spelled RUSSIA IN MY HEART and RED MACHINE, and there was Russian coach Oleg Znarok putting his stars on the power play with a four-goal lead late in the third period. U.S. Coach Tony Granato didn’t like it. The feisty Greenway —who said “I don’t see any reason why we’re not in the gold medal game”—didn’t seem to like it. Me, I loved it. Both teams can make nice when they play Switzerland. U.S.-Russia is no time to make friends.</p>
Nasty, Fun and Chippy: U.S.-Russia Hockey Rivalry Adds Another Chapter in Korea

GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Journalists root for the story, not for any individual or team, which is why I went to the U.S.-Russia hockey game here Saturday. I thought it would be a great story if we beat the bastards. Look: I just don’t like other countries coming in to the United States to try to elect incompetent boobs. That’s our job.

Frankly, I wasn’t sure that this U.S.-Russia tilt would give me that warm Cold War feeling, but it was clear before the puck dropped that this was serious business. U.S. forward Ryan Donato said, “Even before the game there (was) a lot of tension.” That may have been an echo from 1980—this is the first Olympic tournament in a generation that features Russian pros and (mostly) American amateurs. And it may have been because hours earlier, the U.S. Justice Department indicted 13 Russian nationals for tampering with the 2016 election.

The Russians scored the first goal of the night, cutting the score to 13-1. The goal happened so quickly—instant passes from Alexander Barabanov to Sergei Mozyakin to Nikolai Prokhorkin, who scored—that it seemed like a magic trick.

It was pretty clear that the Americans can skate with the Russians, and the Americans can match the Russians’ physicality, but the Americans do not have the Russians’ skill. By the time Russia scored in the final second of the second period to take a 3-0 lead, it was clear that during the next intermission U.S. coach Tony Granato would need to make a major adjustment, like switching to baseball. The final score was 4-0.

Well, we all knew the Russians were better. And maybe it was weird to see these Russians as unfeeling and evil. Pavel Datsyuk, after all, played 14 dazzling seasons in the NHL without offending anybody. He even won the Lady Byng trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly play four times. But if you can’t lump an entire nation of people together using lazy stereotypes, why even have the Olympics?

This was nasty and it was fun, and man, was it chippy. Prokhorkin and enormous young American Jordan Greenway fought like a divorced couple—not an all-out brawl, just constant little disputes. Greenway said later: “I don’t know really what started it. He didn’t want to let me go. He wanted to do a little dance. I’m always down for a little dance.”

I think I know what started it. I think we all do. It all goes back to Lake Placid.

The story of the 1980 U.S. men’s hockey team often gets twisted and exaggerated for maximum dramatic effect, so let’s just stick to facts: A band of gritty American amateurs, wearing skates that had been handed down from their fathers and using sticks they carved themselves, stunned a mighty Soviet Union team, propelling the Americans to the gold medal and instantly cutting the Soviet nuclear arsenal in half. The Cold War did not officially end until a few years later, when Rocky Balboa beat Ivan Drago for the heavyweight championship, but the 1980 Olympic hockey tournament was the turning point.

Let’s face it: We have spent 38 years trying to create the Miracle on Ice. We can’t shut up about it. The world got tired of hearing about it 37 years ago. When we mention Mike Eruzione at bars, other countries leave before finishing their beers. And still we keep yapping.

There is a pretty simple reason for this, and it’s not just that the U.S. won the gold medal. The U.S. has won lots of gold medals. Michael Phelps has won so many, he leaves them as tips. The Miracle on Ice allowed America to be an underdog, and we don’t get too many chances like that. It was a lot more inspiring than Charles Barkley showing up in Barcelona and snapping an Angolan in two.

The Russians are tired of hearing that story. The U.S. is their rival on every possible level. This was reinforced four years ago in Sochi, when American T.J. Oshie scored the winning goal against Russia in a shootout.

Russia’s Ilya Kovalchuk, who scored two goals Friday and looked like he might score more, said afterward, “No anger. It’s sports. It’s emotions. After that last game in Sochi. I think you guys are still showing highlights of Oshie scoring in that shootout. Hopefully you will change it now.”

Of course we won’t. Kovalchuk knows that. But the Russians earned a bye in the quarterfinal round and forced the Americans to play an extra game, which meant this was like two wins for them.

The Russians are playing for so much here—a gold medal, but also a large helping of pride. Officially, this team isn’t playing for the Russian Federation, thanks to that country’s doping sanctions. They are Olympic Athletes From Russia. The Russians wore generic red uniforms with OLYMPIC ATHLETE FROM RUSSIA on them, which had to be embarrassing for everybody involved. They looked like the t-shirts your Aunt Harriet makes everybody wear when your extended family goes on a cruise. The Russians should have just worn uniforms that read I WENT TO PYEONGCHANG AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY HOCKEY JERSEY.

Nobody was fooled by the lousy outfit. These guys may not officially represent Russia, but they are undeniably playing for Russia.

There were Russian flags in the crowd, and rows of fans wearing shirts that spelled RUSSIA IN MY HEART and RED MACHINE, and there was Russian coach Oleg Znarok putting his stars on the power play with a four-goal lead late in the third period. U.S. Coach Tony Granato didn’t like it. The feisty Greenway —who said “I don’t see any reason why we’re not in the gold medal game”—didn’t seem to like it. Me, I loved it. Both teams can make nice when they play Switzerland. U.S.-Russia is no time to make friends.

We’re less than a week into the 2018 Winter Olympics and we already have sensory overload. There’s been a drug scandal, North Korean cheerleader drama, and the confusing moment that had us asking, who are the OAR athletes?
Michael Phelps and his wife, Nicole, welcomed their new baby, and we're loving his literary name
We’re less than a week into the 2018 Winter Olympics and we already have sensory overload. There’s been a drug scandal, North Korean cheerleader drama, and the confusing moment that had us asking, who are the OAR athletes?
We’re less than a week into the 2018 Winter Olympics and we already have sensory overload. There’s been a drug scandal, North Korean cheerleader drama, and the confusing moment that had us asking, who are the OAR athletes?
Michael Phelps and his wife, Nicole, welcomed their new baby, and we're loving his literary name
We’re less than a week into the 2018 Winter Olympics and we already have sensory overload. There’s been a drug scandal, North Korean cheerleader drama, and the confusing moment that had us asking, who are the OAR athletes?
We’re less than a week into the 2018 Winter Olympics and we already have sensory overload. There’s been a drug scandal, North Korean cheerleader drama, and the confusing moment that had us asking, who are the OAR athletes?
Michael Phelps and his wife, Nicole, welcomed their new baby, and we're loving his literary name
We’re less than a week into the 2018 Winter Olympics and we already have sensory overload. There’s been a drug scandal, North Korean cheerleader drama, and the confusing moment that had us asking, who are the OAR athletes?
We’re less than a week into the 2018 Winter Olympics and we already have sensory overload. There’s been a drug scandal, North Korean cheerleader drama, and the confusing moment that had us asking, who are the OAR athletes?
Michael Phelps and his wife, Nicole, welcomed their new baby, and we're loving his literary name
We’re less than a week into the 2018 Winter Olympics and we already have sensory overload. There’s been a drug scandal, North Korean cheerleader drama, and the confusing moment that had us asking, who are the OAR athletes?
Shaun White Trades Tweets with Michael Phelps After Historic Win
Shaun White Trades Tweets with Michael Phelps After Historic Win: 'Nothing Like a Good Comeback'
Shaun White Trades Tweets with Michael Phelps After Historic Win
Shaun White Trades Tweets with Michael Phelps After Historic Win
Shaun White Trades Tweets with Michael Phelps After Historic Win: 'Nothing Like a Good Comeback'
Shaun White Trades Tweets with Michael Phelps After Historic Win
Shaun White Trades Tweets with Michael Phelps After Historic Win
Shaun White Trades Tweets with Michael Phelps After Historic Win: 'Nothing Like a Good Comeback'
Shaun White Trades Tweets with Michael Phelps After Historic Win
Shiffrin could be forced to scale back on her plans to dominate — Michael Phelps-style — the women&#39;s alpine skiing in Pyeongchang.
Winter Olympics 2018: Mikaela Shiffrin needs to prioritise events to avoid fatigue, says coach Mike Day
Shiffrin could be forced to scale back on her plans to dominate — Michael Phelps-style — the women's alpine skiing in Pyeongchang.
<p>PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — For a creature of routine like American skiing superstar Mikaela Shiffrin, the waiting and waiting for her Olympics racing schedule to start was borderline tortuous. She had to find ways to keep herself relaxed as bad weather kept delaying her events. She passed the time by watching episodes of <a href="http://www.cbs.com/shows/blue_bloods/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Blue Bloods" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Blue Bloods</a>, the <a href="http://fortune.com/fortune500/cbs/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:CBS" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">CBS</a> cop drama starring <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000633/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tom Selleck" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Tom Selleck</a>, and her family’s favorite TV show. She texted with her sports psychologist, who urged her to stay patient and not fret about things she couldn’t control. The night before her giant slalom race on Thursday in South Korea—Wednesday evening New York time—older brother Taylor, on hand to support his sister, danced around a living room with Mikaela. “It was just like we are all together back in Colorado, goofing around and having fun,” says Taylor. “We knew it was best to keep her mind off the event.”</p><p>All the shimmying and texting and Tom Selleck paid off; Selleck, and his still excellent <a href="https://www.facebook.com/tomsellecksmustache/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:mustache" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">mustache</a>, should take a bow for entering Olympic lore. On a sun-baked day in the mountains of South Korea, Shiffrin, 22, the reigning World Cup all-around skiing champion and current top women’s skier in the world, won her first race of the <a href="http://time.com/4932670/2018-winter-olympics-when-where/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Games" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Games</a>, taking gold in the giant slalom Thursday afternoon at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre. The race was supposed to be be held on Monday, but <a href="http://time.com/5157372/winter-olympics-alpine-ski-race-delayed/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:wind gusts pushed the contest back" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">wind gusts pushed the contest back</a> until Thursday.</p><p>Shiffrin won’t have much time to celebrate. Her strongest event, the slalom, goes off on Friday (Thursday night in the U.S.; it was originally scheduled for Tuesday night). With a win in the slalom, Shiffrin would become the first American ski racer, woman or man, to own three Olympic gold medals. (Four years ago, she won the slalom gold in Sochi at 18 years old, becoming the youngest Olympian to ever win that race).</p><p>While Shiffrin has won four World Cup discipline titles in slalom, giant slalom—a faster technical race with less frequent turns than slalom—has proven tougher for her to master. So this gold is all that sweeter—and surprising. “Giant slalom is something I have a love-hate relationship with,” Shiffrin says. “It’s more difficult for me to find a good rhythm in GS, so I need to train it a lot, I need to be in a good mood, I need to be aggressive. I’m just starting to find some connection with that this year. To do that today was just amazing.”</p><p>Plus, for someone pursuing multiple golds like Shiffrin, a first win lifts a serious burden. “It’s really nice to know that no matter what I do, from today on, I will walk away from these Olympics with something,” she says. “I knew I could win medals in multiple disciplines, but I also knew I could have nothing, I have something now and that’s great. I can ski really for myself.”</p><p>The weather delays, however, have likely derailed her plans to pursue five Olympic medals; Shiffrin’s mother and coach, Eileen, says her daughter won’t race in Saturday’s Super-G event. A Super-G start would require completing three races in three days, a fatiguing undertaking. Eileen wants her daughter to rest, and start her training for next week’s downhill and combined events.</p><p>Shiffrin still has a chance, however, to break Janica Kostelic’s record for most gold medals won by a female alpine racer at a single Olympics. The Croatian skier took three golds at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. In short, Shiffrin’s pursuit of the Olympic skiing record book compares to what Michael Phelps accomplished in swimming.</p><p>Although the delays put a mental strain on Shiffrin, her preparation was on point. When fellow racer Sofia Goggia, of Italy, saw one of Shiffrin’s giant-slalom training runs earlier this week, her jaw dropped. The gold, Goggia told someone, was Shiffrin’s.</p><p>On the morning of the giant slalom race, her nerves didn’t feel frayed. “I was able to eat my breakfast,” says Shiffrin, “which normally on race day, is not so easy for me to do.” (Last season in particular, Shiffrin developed a nasty habit of throwing up before her races). Even though she trailed by .20 seconds after her first run, Shiffrin felt good just to be racing. “Yeah, you don’t even know!” Shiffin said after that run, with a laugh. “Last night I was like, are we ever going to race?” Weather delays can benefit a skier with Shiffrin’s skills.</p><p>Temperate conditions minimize the impact of luck; in unpredictable conditions, a sudden wind gust can propel an inferior racer forward. “It’s fair today, which is really, really important, especially at the Olympics,” Shiffrin said while the North Korean cheering squad sang its melodies from the stands at the bottom of the mountain. She felt loose in her first run, but not completely satisfied. “I feel like I can go a little bit harder,” Shiffrin said. “There’s nothing to hold back for in the second run. The nice thing about the Olympics, is you don’t hold back.”</p><p>Between runs, her mother reinforced this message: you’re skiing too well not to go for it. But some doubt crept in. “There were moments that were like, I don’t know if I’m good enough to do this,” Shiffrin says. “And there were moments that were like, ‘who cares, you’ve got to try, we’re here.&#39;” Shiffrin, who even as a middle schooler at the Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont appreciated the recuperative powers of sleep, tried napping between runs. Shiffrin didn’t completely doze off, she said after the race, but the relaxation helped.</p><p>The second-to-last racer in contention to go off, Shiffrin dug deep at the top: she needed to beat the top combined time of 2:20:41, set by Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway. She sizzled and swerved, building speed and a lead: though she slowed a bit at the bottom, Shiffrin took the top spot, by .39 seconds, and clinched at least a silver. If Italy’s Manuela Moelgg, the last racer, couldn’t keep up, Shiffrin would win the gold.</p><p>As Moelgg moved down the mountain, she kept losing pace. Shiffrin’s father Jeff, who first put his daughter on skis when she was around two, put his hands on his hat in the stands. “Oh my God!” he said. He knew Mikaela locked it up. “This is validation for all her effort,” a joyous Jeff said afterwards. His daughter’s famous for training longer and harder than her competitors, and spending hours breaking down video, like any obsessive coach. “That’s what matters!”</p><p>Another key to Shiffrin’s success: she never let the Olympics psych her out. During an interview at the condo she shares with her parents in Avon, Colorado—near Vail—in the fall, she was asked to show off her gold medal from Sochi. One problem: she had brought it to a media event in Park City, Utah, and didn’t pack it on her carry-on back home. What Olympic champion, in their right mind, would entrust a gold medal to the airlines in checked baggage?</p><p>The medal made it home, and on that fall morning it was stuffed into a huge red duffel bag, out in the garage. Later, the hardware just sat on her kitchen table, near a collection of candy wrappers. She often keeps it wrapped in a sock, rather than displaying it in a case. Her philosophy: don’t rest on past laurels. Or put too much stock in any trophy. “I’m not taking pictures with it every day,” Shiffrin said. “It’s not the most valuable part of my life.”</p><p>Still, it’s now time for Shiffrin to get more socks.</p>
Mikaela Shiffrin Takes Home Olympic Gold Medal in Giant Slalom

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — For a creature of routine like American skiing superstar Mikaela Shiffrin, the waiting and waiting for her Olympics racing schedule to start was borderline tortuous. She had to find ways to keep herself relaxed as bad weather kept delaying her events. She passed the time by watching episodes of Blue Bloods, the CBS cop drama starring Tom Selleck, and her family’s favorite TV show. She texted with her sports psychologist, who urged her to stay patient and not fret about things she couldn’t control. The night before her giant slalom race on Thursday in South Korea—Wednesday evening New York time—older brother Taylor, on hand to support his sister, danced around a living room with Mikaela. “It was just like we are all together back in Colorado, goofing around and having fun,” says Taylor. “We knew it was best to keep her mind off the event.”

All the shimmying and texting and Tom Selleck paid off; Selleck, and his still excellent mustache, should take a bow for entering Olympic lore. On a sun-baked day in the mountains of South Korea, Shiffrin, 22, the reigning World Cup all-around skiing champion and current top women’s skier in the world, won her first race of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Games, taking gold in the giant slalom Thursday afternoon at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre. The race was supposed to be be held on Monday, but wind gusts pushed the contest back until Thursday.

Shiffrin won’t have much time to celebrate. Her strongest event, the slalom, goes off on Friday (Thursday night in the U.S.; it was originally scheduled for Tuesday night). With a win in the slalom, Shiffrin would become the first American ski racer, woman or man, to own three Olympic gold medals. (Four years ago, she won the slalom gold in Sochi at 18 years old, becoming the youngest Olympian to ever win that race).

While Shiffrin has won four World Cup discipline titles in slalom, giant slalom—a faster technical race with less frequent turns than slalom—has proven tougher for her to master. So this gold is all that sweeter—and surprising. “Giant slalom is something I have a love-hate relationship with,” Shiffrin says. “It’s more difficult for me to find a good rhythm in GS, so I need to train it a lot, I need to be in a good mood, I need to be aggressive. I’m just starting to find some connection with that this year. To do that today was just amazing.”

Plus, for someone pursuing multiple golds like Shiffrin, a first win lifts a serious burden. “It’s really nice to know that no matter what I do, from today on, I will walk away from these Olympics with something,” she says. “I knew I could win medals in multiple disciplines, but I also knew I could have nothing, I have something now and that’s great. I can ski really for myself.”

The weather delays, however, have likely derailed her plans to pursue five Olympic medals; Shiffrin’s mother and coach, Eileen, says her daughter won’t race in Saturday’s Super-G event. A Super-G start would require completing three races in three days, a fatiguing undertaking. Eileen wants her daughter to rest, and start her training for next week’s downhill and combined events.

Shiffrin still has a chance, however, to break Janica Kostelic’s record for most gold medals won by a female alpine racer at a single Olympics. The Croatian skier took three golds at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. In short, Shiffrin’s pursuit of the Olympic skiing record book compares to what Michael Phelps accomplished in swimming.

Although the delays put a mental strain on Shiffrin, her preparation was on point. When fellow racer Sofia Goggia, of Italy, saw one of Shiffrin’s giant-slalom training runs earlier this week, her jaw dropped. The gold, Goggia told someone, was Shiffrin’s.

On the morning of the giant slalom race, her nerves didn’t feel frayed. “I was able to eat my breakfast,” says Shiffrin, “which normally on race day, is not so easy for me to do.” (Last season in particular, Shiffrin developed a nasty habit of throwing up before her races). Even though she trailed by .20 seconds after her first run, Shiffrin felt good just to be racing. “Yeah, you don’t even know!” Shiffin said after that run, with a laugh. “Last night I was like, are we ever going to race?” Weather delays can benefit a skier with Shiffrin’s skills.

Temperate conditions minimize the impact of luck; in unpredictable conditions, a sudden wind gust can propel an inferior racer forward. “It’s fair today, which is really, really important, especially at the Olympics,” Shiffrin said while the North Korean cheering squad sang its melodies from the stands at the bottom of the mountain. She felt loose in her first run, but not completely satisfied. “I feel like I can go a little bit harder,” Shiffrin said. “There’s nothing to hold back for in the second run. The nice thing about the Olympics, is you don’t hold back.”

Between runs, her mother reinforced this message: you’re skiing too well not to go for it. But some doubt crept in. “There were moments that were like, I don’t know if I’m good enough to do this,” Shiffrin says. “And there were moments that were like, ‘who cares, you’ve got to try, we’re here.'” Shiffrin, who even as a middle schooler at the Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont appreciated the recuperative powers of sleep, tried napping between runs. Shiffrin didn’t completely doze off, she said after the race, but the relaxation helped.

The second-to-last racer in contention to go off, Shiffrin dug deep at the top: she needed to beat the top combined time of 2:20:41, set by Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway. She sizzled and swerved, building speed and a lead: though she slowed a bit at the bottom, Shiffrin took the top spot, by .39 seconds, and clinched at least a silver. If Italy’s Manuela Moelgg, the last racer, couldn’t keep up, Shiffrin would win the gold.

As Moelgg moved down the mountain, she kept losing pace. Shiffrin’s father Jeff, who first put his daughter on skis when she was around two, put his hands on his hat in the stands. “Oh my God!” he said. He knew Mikaela locked it up. “This is validation for all her effort,” a joyous Jeff said afterwards. His daughter’s famous for training longer and harder than her competitors, and spending hours breaking down video, like any obsessive coach. “That’s what matters!”

Another key to Shiffrin’s success: she never let the Olympics psych her out. During an interview at the condo she shares with her parents in Avon, Colorado—near Vail—in the fall, she was asked to show off her gold medal from Sochi. One problem: she had brought it to a media event in Park City, Utah, and didn’t pack it on her carry-on back home. What Olympic champion, in their right mind, would entrust a gold medal to the airlines in checked baggage?

The medal made it home, and on that fall morning it was stuffed into a huge red duffel bag, out in the garage. Later, the hardware just sat on her kitchen table, near a collection of candy wrappers. She often keeps it wrapped in a sock, rather than displaying it in a case. Her philosophy: don’t rest on past laurels. Or put too much stock in any trophy. “I’m not taking pictures with it every day,” Shiffrin said. “It’s not the most valuable part of my life.”

Still, it’s now time for Shiffrin to get more socks.

<p>American <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/10/mikaela-shiffrin-reluctant-star-winter-olympics-2018-pyeongchang-michael-phelps" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mikaela Shiffrin" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Mikaela Shiffrin</a> captured the gold medal in the women&#39;s giant slalom at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.</p><p>Shiffrin was in second place after the first run in the final, sandwiched between Italians Manuela Moelgg (first) and Federica Brignone (third). Shiffrin&#39;s time of 1:10.82 in the first run was 0.2 seconds slower than Moelgg and 0.09 seconds faster than Brignone.</p><p>In the second run, Shiffrin posted a tome of 1:09.20, giving her a total time 2:20.02, which vaulted her into first place. Moelgg fell to eighth after a 1:10.58 second run gave her a total time of 2:21.20, while Norway&#39;s Ragnhild Mowinckel climbed into second and Brigone held onto third place.</p><p>This is Shiffrin&#39;s second career Olympic gold medal. In 2014 she captured the gold in women&#39;s slalom. She will defend that medal Thursday night.</p><p>• <strong><a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/01/29/mikaela-shiffrin-winter-olympics-2018-pyeongchang" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Guts Over Fear: An Aggressive State of Mind Helped Mikaela Shiffrin Conquer Her Anxiety On The Slopes" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Guts Over Fear: An Aggressive State of Mind Helped Mikaela Shiffrin Conquer Her Anxiety On The Slopes</a></strong></p><p>This medal brings the <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/team-usa-medal-tracker-pyeongchang-olympic-games-results-medals-won" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Team USA&#39;s total medal" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Team USA&#39;s total medal</a> count to eight and the gold medal count to five. You can check out a full medal count for the 2018 Winter Olympics <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/medals/country" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</p>
Mikaela Shiffrin Gets Gold In Women's Giant Slalom

American Mikaela Shiffrin captured the gold medal in the women's giant slalom at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.

Shiffrin was in second place after the first run in the final, sandwiched between Italians Manuela Moelgg (first) and Federica Brignone (third). Shiffrin's time of 1:10.82 in the first run was 0.2 seconds slower than Moelgg and 0.09 seconds faster than Brignone.

In the second run, Shiffrin posted a tome of 1:09.20, giving her a total time 2:20.02, which vaulted her into first place. Moelgg fell to eighth after a 1:10.58 second run gave her a total time of 2:21.20, while Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel climbed into second and Brigone held onto third place.

This is Shiffrin's second career Olympic gold medal. In 2014 she captured the gold in women's slalom. She will defend that medal Thursday night.

Guts Over Fear: An Aggressive State of Mind Helped Mikaela Shiffrin Conquer Her Anxiety On The Slopes

This medal brings the Team USA's total medal count to eight and the gold medal count to five. You can check out a full medal count for the 2018 Winter Olympics here.

Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcomed their second child, a baby boy named Beckett, on Monday.
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcome their second baby boy
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcomed their second child, a baby boy named Beckett, on Monday.
1. Shaun White Makes Olympic History With Gold Medal Three-Peat (E! Online) 2. Michael Phelps and Wife Nicole Johnson Welcome Baby No. 2 (US Magazine) 3. Luke Wilson, pro golfer Bill Haas injured in fatal car crash (Page Six) 4. Cardi B's Team Telling People She's Pregnant! (TMZ) 5. Peggy Sulahian Is Leaving the ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ (US Magazine)
Shaun White makes Olympic history with Gold Medal three-peat
1. Shaun White Makes Olympic History With Gold Medal Three-Peat (E! Online) 2. Michael Phelps and Wife Nicole Johnson Welcome Baby No. 2 (US Magazine) 3. Luke Wilson, pro golfer Bill Haas injured in fatal car crash (Page Six) 4. Cardi B's Team Telling People She's Pregnant! (TMZ) 5. Peggy Sulahian Is Leaving the ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ (US Magazine)
Michael Phelps Welcomes 2nd Son, Shares Adorable Pic & Name
Michael Phelps Welcomes 2nd Son, Shares Adorable Pic & Name
Michael Phelps Welcomes 2nd Son, Shares Adorable Pic & Name
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcomed their second child, a baby boy named Beckett, on Monday.
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcome their second baby boy
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcomed their second child, a baby boy named Beckett, on Monday.
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcomed their second child, a baby boy named Beckett, on Monday.
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcome their second baby boy
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcomed their second child, a baby boy named Beckett, on Monday.
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcomed their second child, a baby boy named Beckett, on Monday.
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcome their second baby boy
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcomed their second child, a baby boy named Beckett, on Monday.
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcomed their second child, a baby boy named Beckett, on Monday.
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcome their second baby boy
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcomed their second child, a baby boy named Beckett, on Monday.
The Olympic swimmer and his wife Nicole announced the birth of their second child, Beckett. See the adorable family photos.
Michael Phelps Steals Olympics Spotlight Not by Competing, But by Welcoming Baby Boy #2
The Olympic swimmer and his wife Nicole announced the birth of their second child, Beckett. See the adorable family photos.

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