Switzerland's Gisin collects women's Alpine combined gold

That is until gold was on the line.

Michelle Gisin of Switzerland took gold after completing the downhill in 1 minute, 40.14 seconds, then cruising in slalom (40.76) to combine for an aggregate time of 2:20.90. Her eye-popping 41 victories in World Cup events before the age of 23 is more than any other skier in history.

And another medal for the Gisin household. The U.S. has four athletes competing in this event including slopestyle gold medalist Jamie Anderson and 17-year-old Hailey Langland, who has won this event at the X Games.

"The best ever. It makes everything more handsome", Michelle Gisin said. She also told the Associated Press that she credits these physical trials with toughening her up. "I really had no stress at all and could just chill and sleep because that was needed after that nice crash on my head".

Perhaps more to the point would be whether Shiffrin has to make up two seconds.

Mikaela Shiffrin is prepared for the post-Olympics letdown of a return to normal life but the American still has plenty to target over the rest of the year and is even looking further ahead towards her third Games in 2022.

Lindsey Vonn has vowed to "do something else" after her Olympic career ended in disappointment as she failed to finish the slalom in the Super Combined. "But I'm proud to be competing for my country, giving it all and proud to come away with a medal".

"It's sad", she said on Tuesday after placing third in the women's alpine downhill final.

Moments earlier, near the starting gate of the slalom course outside PyeongChang, the snow started to fall again; the wind whipping around snowflakes as if they were confetti in a shockingly picturesque scene as 33-year-old Lindsey Vonn stepped into the starting gate.

"Almost. Very close", said Gisin, who came up as a slalom racer and earned a silver medal in the combined at the world championships last February. She also boasts 210 top-10 World Cup finishes, 12 more than the next-highest female skier. To be on the podium with a friend and teammate?

"It was like someone was playing a game of ping pong with my brain", she said of the postponements in the first week. After all, Vonn has been anointed downhill champion before, in Vancouver in 2010.

"Whenever I hear anybody say something about this", Shiffrin said Friday, "it's like, 'most likely, ' 'probably, ' 'maybe, ' 'we'll see, ' 'not sure.' I'm like, 'Knowing Lindsey, I don't believe her'".

By no sane metric could Mikaela Shiffrin's second Olympics, which concluded on Thursday afternoon with her silver medal in the alpine combined to go with last week's giant slalom gold, be fairly assessed as anything but a success. "So those are my last two slalom runs".

"Everything's great. I feel like a million bucks", she said with a smile. "So that's the extent of my slalom training this year". Vonn went seventh and couldn't catch her. The 26-year-old raised her arms in triumph and embraced Anderson after the score flashed. Americans twice have won four medals in alpine (1964 and 1984), twice have won five medals (1980 and 2014) and once won eight total medals (2010).

"It was an wonderful day that I will never forget".

"Especially after the passing of my grandfather. you realize. how short your life is and how much you wish you had more experiences that were meaningful".

Goggia, who got advice from Vonn over coffee in Colorado a few months ago, said: "She is the greatest. It's been a great ride".

  • Julie Sanders