Unfortunately, in the last run for gold, both USA athletes fell early into the course missing the chance to medal.
Moelgg, who went out first, was more than mindful of Shiffrin's threat.
Germany's Laura Dahlmeier won the women's 10 kilometer pursuit to add to her 7.5km sprint title from Saturday. Svindal, 35, is the oldest man to win Olympic gold in Alpine skiing. It's full of terrain, meaning a lot of turns, which plays to her strengths. On Thursday, she faced a two-tenths of a second deficit after the morning run but raced the second run 1.62 seconds faster than the first and posted a total time of 2:20.02 in the afternoon.
The advantage then changed five times in the second leg with France's four-time world champion Tessa Worley in front for the majority before being overtaken by silver medallist Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway and Italian Federica Brignone, who did just enough to get a bronze medal. "You gotta try. You're here", she said with a smile.
Don't compare her to that other well-known blonde female skier. Between runs, she was certainly happy with her time but also just relieved to finally get her Olympics underway. She even appeared to have spent Wednesday hunting for love on Twitter.
"It's never easy but it's really nice that no matter what I do from today on, I will walk away from these Olympics with something", said Shiffrin. The conditions are great.
"The second run is going to be like a new race so its going to be really interesting".
Queenstown's Alice Robinson (16) finished 35th out of 81 skiiers today with a combined time of 2:31.19.
Shiffrin is back on Thursday as she races for back-to-back Olympic gold in women's slalom. "There's nothing to hold back for in the second run". Here's what you might have missed from Wednesday.
That's why she's being compared to Phelps, who's ridiculous schedule at the Summer Games was always a topic of heavy conversation. Skiing in her favorite discipline after already registering an Olympic start should only calm the nerves she experienced Thursday.
The 22-year-old American is competing in the giant slalom.
Tuesday's race came one day before the 12-year anniversary of his gold medal win the combined in Turin, which he said felt like both a recent event and in distant past. Competitors then raced over to embrace her.
Tessa Worley, the French world champion seen as the biggest challenger to Shiffrin, had a nightmare, losing control at one point in a skid that will nearly certainly lose her a shot at the gold medal.
"My coaches said you have to go for it. ..." The first one to cross the finish line during the final race wins the gold. "There are moments when I think "Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?', and there are other moments where I feel like, "No problem".