KRASNAYA POLYANA, RUSSIA—Mikaela Shiffrin made alpine skiing history Friday as the youngest ever winner of an Olympic slalom gold medal after making an astonishing recovery midway through her second run.
The 18-year-old American showed impressive balance and agility to protect her lead from a near-flawless first run to win in 1 minute, 44.54 seconds.
She finished 0.53 seconds faster than veteran Marlies Schild of Austria, one of Shiffrin’s childhood favourites. Schild has now got a slalom medal at three straight Olympics without winning gold.
Kathrin Zettel of Austria took bronze, trailing 0.81 behind Shiffrin.
Shiffrin hesitated to celebrate as she completed her run, and only seemed sure when Schild and Zettel came across the finish area to raise her arms in triumph. She took the record for youngest Olympic slalom champion, male or female, from Paoletta Magoni of Italy, who won gold at the 1984 Sarajevo Games when she was 19.
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