Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates gold at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming. (Getty Images/AFP-Olivier Morin)
SCHLADMING, Austria (Feb. 16) - Teen Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) skied a powerful, aggressive second run to come from behind to win gold in slalom at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming. Third after the first run, Shiffrin overcame a .18 lead by Sweden's Frida Hansdotter who took bronze. Austria's Michaela Kirchgasser took silver. It was the first World Championship medal of their careers for each of the medalists. Shiffrin became the third youngest woman to ever win a slalom World Championship and youngest American to win any title since 17 year old Diann Roffe won gold in giant slalom in 1985.
Teen Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) became World Champion Saturday winning slalom gold at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming.
It was the fifth medal for the USA and fourth gold. Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) won in super G, super combined and giant slalom. Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) won in giant slalom.
Shiffrin became the third youngest woman to win slalom World Championship. She was the youngest American to win a title since 17 year old (slightly younger) Diann Roffe won gold in giant slalom at Bormio, Italy in 1985. She's also the first American to win a Championship or Olympic slalom since Barbara Cochran won at the 1972 Olympics and World Championships in Sapporo.
Resi Stiegler (Jackson. WY) was the only other American, finishing 22nd.
A sold out stadium of over 30,000 was on hand in Schladming for the final weekend of the Championships.
NBC will broadcast same day coverage at 3:00 p.m. EST with Universal Sports Network at 4:00 p.m.
QUOTES Mikaela Shiffrin This morning I woke up, did my warmup and my muscles just all morning felt sluggish and tired like I was still sleeping. I struggled through the first run, made a mistake at the top and just couldn't move my feet fast enough. As I got down the run my legs started waking up.
In the second run, two minutes before start I felt my muscles come alive, my head cleared and all of a sudden it was like a whole new day.
There were a lot of emotions today. The main one was trying to find a moment on the hill where I could just smile because I felt I was skiing well and handling the conditions well. I just wanted to feel my skis take me down the hill and I did.
I heard them (the crowd) from the start. I heard them cheering or maybe booing (laughing) I don't know. They brought me to the finish line today. I found the finish with plenty of time. I know there are a lot of people out there supporting me including my family, my coaches, my sponsors. I have so many people to thank and the crowd is just one of them.
Was your fight with your emotions in the finish area tougher than the fight on the hill?
Doing what I did on the hill today, especially in the second run - skiing is like dancing or flying there are so may ways I can describe it but it just is. And it works for me. But coming down to the finish just knowing it worked and the whole day came together and I had all these opportunities and it worked out is unbelievable. And I can't find an emotion to describe it. It's been 17 years in the making. I'm finally here and doing what I set out to do. And it's a really cool feeling. But when people ask me what I'm feeling and how do I do this - I just don't have an answer. I'm just doing what I do and I don't want to wait.
Ted was so inspiring these World Championships. It's really hard to have a good race every few days and that's what he's done. You get tired and you're trying to extend your mental capacity for an entire two weeks. He seems to have done it flawlessly.
HELP THE TEAM Do you believe in Mikaela Shiffrin? Mikaela entered the starting gate today in front of 30,000 fans and pushed out with the belief that she could win. While just 17, Mikaela has a lifetime of passion in her sport and shared her pride today with her family, friends and fans. Athletes like Mikaela Shiffrin and her U.S. Ski Team teammates rely on the support of the American public. Click here to support the team.