Shiffrin slaloms out of Vonn's shadow

Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:55am EST
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By Philip O'Connor

(Reuters) - American slalom specialist Mikaela Shiffrin is a woman in a hurry.

Just 18 years old, the teenager already is a World Cup winner and world champion in slalom with an Olympic medal well within her sights.

And with compatriot Lindsey Vonn missing the Games due to injury, more attention will turn to the Colorado-born Shiffrin.

"It's nice to sing my national anthem a couple of races before the Olympics," Shiffrin told the Team USA website (

after a recent World Cup slalom victory in Flachau, Austria.

"Hopefully I can sing it again in Sochi."

The night-time Austrian victory, her second World Cup win in a row and third of the season, makes her a hot favorite for gold in Sochi with a great deal of media attention and high expectations from American fans.

For most athletes that level of attention might be a burden, but Shiffrin has shown little sign so far that she is not able to cope with the pressure.   Continued...

Mikaela Shiffrin from the U.S. celebrates with the trophy after winning the World Cup women's slalom race in Flachau January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler