Mikaela Shiffrin makes Pyeongchang Olympics debut with fast first run in giant slalom


PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — American standout Mikaela Shiffrin’s long-awaited Pyeongchang debut finally went off Thursday morning when the women’s Alpine racing program began with the giant slalom at Yongpyong Alpine Center.

On a clear day with much less wind, Shiffrin turned in a fast first run, finishing 0.20 seconds behind leader Manuela Moelgg of Italy.

Shiffrin, 22, got wide on a few turns, but other than that was solid through the tight course. Considered the favorite in the giant slalom, she is in good position for the final run later in the afternoon South Korea time.

Hampered by high wind and weather, the women’s races have been postponed twice, on Monday and Wednesday. The postponements mean that Shiffrin could potentially compete on back-to-back-to-back days should she elect to enter in the Super G on Saturday.

Shiffrin could vie to become the first skier to medal in all five disciplines in the same Olympics. She finished fifth in the giant slalom at the 2014 Sochi Games and is the defending Olympic slalom champion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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