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Team USA's Mikaela Shiffrin wins first gold medal in giant slalom

By
Alex Butler
American Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates after winning gold in the Ladies' Giant Slalom at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Thursday. Shiffrin won gold with a combined time of 2:20.02. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
American Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates after winning gold in the Ladies' Giant Slalom at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Thursday. Shiffrin won gold with a combined time of 2:20.02. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Team USA's Mikaela Shiffrin sat in the snow, crying on her knees after winning the women's giant slalom in Alpine skiing Thursday at the Winter Olympics.

Shiffrin won the event with a time of 2:20.02. Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel won the silver medal with a time of 2:20.41. Italy's Federica Brignone finished third with a time of 2:20.48.

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"For me it's incredible," Shiffrin told NBC after her final run. "But the biggest thing is with my GS. It's so special in how it has been building this year. Since Sochi...I got fifth in Sochi...I was two-tenths off of the podium. And I thought, 'I'm not the best GS skier, so I don't deserve to win a gold medal or even a medal in GS. At that time, I set a goal to become the best GS skier in the world."

"It's so incredible. To be able to put down that run. That was really taking risks and fighting for it and I'm so happy for that."

She was in second place after her first run at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre.

Shiffrin, 22, won a gold medal in the slalom at the 2014 Winter Games. She was just 18-years-old at the time, becoming the youngest slalom gold medalist in history.

She'll compete in that event on Friday and could compete in the Super-G, downhill, super combined and the team event in the coming weeks.

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