The experts made Shiffrin the pre-race favorite for gold.
She came to Pyeongchang with a lot of external expectation around her as she targeted potentially competing in five different medal events.
Shiffrin didn't win. She did, after a hard-charging slalom, take silver.
The race marks a transitional time in American skiing history.
Vonn, by contrast, she said she was "extremely proud" to be on the Olympic podium.
Surprise successes, shocking failures and a dizzying number of scheduling changes made for a turbulent three weeks in Pyeongchang for Mikaela Shiffrin, but the American said she is walking away happy after taking silver in Thursday's combined. The others: Vonn (three), Julia Mancuso (four), Bode Miller (six).
Wendy Holdener was third with a combined time of 2:22.34 to secure a memorable gold-bronze finish for Switzerland.
"It nearly takes the pressure off, which is good for me, it means I can ski free".
KOAA 5 is your home for coverage of the Winter Olympic games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. She sought to dismiss that, rightly pointing out that skiing and swimming were apples and oranges.
Lindsey Vonn, the most successful World Cup woman skier of all-time, is "99.9 percent sure" that Wednesday will mark her final Olympic downhill race.
Here in PyeongChang, opening up, Shiffrin won gold in GS. Sofia Goggia opted out of a chance for a second gold and sat out the Alpine combined, but it might not have mattered even had she entered the race.
"After my downhill run I thought I would probably I would be out of the medals because I had too many mistakes", she said. One year ago at the world championships, Gut severely injured her right knee crashing in slalom warm-ups after the downhill run in combined.
This was Vonn's mantra.
Super G (super giant slalom): Speed and technical. "And I tried everything I could to win for him", Vonn said. She also edged Vonn in March to win the only World Cup downhill contested on the hill. "You know, he wasn't at the 2010 Olympics". No American in history has more than Shiffrin's two golds in Olympic alpine competition.
Assuming no major injury between now and then - always a big if in Alpine - how will Shiffrin's racing further develop? And I really had hoped that he would be alive to see me (at this year's Olympics). And she'll unquestionably be a better all-around skier, a force of nature in her absolute prime, four years from now. When the Alpine combined was moved a day forward to Thursday, Shiffrin elected to skip the downhill race rather than compete in back-to-back days.