American skier Mikaela Shiffrin lived up to her billing Friday evening in Sochi as she smashed the competition to become the youngest slalom gold medalist in Olympic history. The 18-year-old didn’t waste any time laying out an ambitious plan for her trip to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Shiffrin told reporters that she is dreaming of doing the unprecedented and sweeping Alpine skiing’s five events: downhill, super G, giant slalom, slalom and super combined. While that may seem like a pretty ridiculous goal, don’t count the young American out. She is regarded as one of the top young talents in the history of the sport.
Shiffrin had the following to say about the goal:
“I’m still young and I still have a lot of strength to gain over the next few summers of conditioning and the next few winters of skiing. I don’t want to push myself too far too fast and definitely don’t get greedy, but at the same time, I’m a dreamer.
“So right now I’m dreaming of the next Olympics, winning five gold medals. Which sounds really crazy. Sorry I just admitted that to you all.”
If Shiffrin were to accomplish an Alpine sweep, it would be on par with what Michael Phelps accomplished at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Phelps took home eight swimming gold medals in Beijing during the 2008 Games, and Shiffrin would be entering that territory if she went after all five skiing golds.
The feat has almost been accomplished before, as Croatia’s Janica Kostelic won four of the five in Salt Lake City in 2002, only falling short in the downhill.
So far Shiffrin has only competed internationally in the giant slalom and slalom but it sounds like that will change soon. The reigning World Cup champion and world champion has now added Olympic champion to the list a few weeks before her 19th birthday.
At this point, it would probably not be wise to doubt the Colorado native when she sets a goal for herself. She’ll be fun to watch in four years.