The Medal Stand: Pyeongchang 2018, day six

Mikaela Shiffrin run 1

She earned the right to stand tallest on the medals' podium with a combined time of 2.20.02 and was nearly half a second better than silver medalist.

Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States took gold in the women's giant slalom Thursday at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, where the sole Japanese entrant, Haruna Ishikawa, finished 33rd.

Tha American superstar who won gold in Sochi four years ago, got off to the ideal start by capturing the giant slalom on title Thursday after the weather finally cooperated with race organisers.

Now Friday will also be a double-competition day, with Shiffrin attempting to defend her 2014 gold medal in the slalom, which will be held at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre that hosts technical races, while the men compete in the super-G at the Jeongseon Alpine Center speed hill about 50 kilometres away.

Heading into her second run trailing Italy's Manuela Moelgg, the 22-year-old began hearing the voice of self-doubt that has visited her during the last two seasons, creating anxiety bad enough for her to seek professional help.

Shiffrin had produced the second-quickest opening run, turning and weaving her way down the course before crossing in 1:10.82. 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.

The revised race program means that Shiffrin now has races on three consecutive days, beginning with Thursday's giant slalom and concluding with the women's super-G on Saturday.

Mikaela Shiffrin Facebook Account - Her official Facebook page has around 370,000 likes.

"There was no sun when we came down but then it got better".

"But she's so in there, she can do it better than us".

Known for skiing to her limits, Tilley will leave nothing on the table.

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

Wendy Holdener became the first Swiss woman in 20 years to finish on the podium in slalom at the World Championships with a second place in 2017.

"I don't think it gets any easier, but I think she can take a deep breath and say, 'The pressure's off a little bit". "She'll just approach it the way she's always approached it: It's left-right-left-right-left-right, forget about the result".

"I still think everyone has some first-run jitters", Shiffrin said.

As for Vonn, what has she been doing while Shiffrin has sweated out interminable race delays and nasty weather that has disrupted her training as well?

In many ways, this first event was cast as one that could give her some momentum and raise expectations for the remainder of her Olympic schedule, which continues Friday with the slalom. In the start gate, "my biggest moments were, 'Just go for it, you have nothing to lose".

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