There was no final moment of Olympic glory for Lindsey Vonn as she blew a good shot at winning a gold medal in the ladies' alpine combined when she clipped a gate and did not finish the slalom portion of the event.
The drama for Lindsey Vonn at the conclusion of what will be her final Olympic downhill run wasn't whether or not she would win her second Olympic gold medal.
American Mikaela Shiffrin, the overall World Cup champion in 2017 and leader in the standings again this season, will be hard to beat as she seeks a second gold after her giant slalom triumph. Her two-run combined time of 2:20.90 was almost a second better than Shiffrin, the pre-race favorite who seemed both happy and relieved to have earned a silver medal.
Gisin's elder sister Dominique won gold in the downhill in Sochi four years ago.
With the silver, Shiffrin became the fourth American to win at least three Olympic Alpine ski medals.
The US skier has been intermittently abused on social media after she told CNN in an interview in December that she wouldn't visit the White House should she win a medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Like her rival, Goggia missed the Sochi Olympics because of a knee injury and Vonn said she had given some advice to the Italian at her home last November.
And as far as American alpine skiing is concerned, the PyeongChang Games will be remembered as the only Olympics that saw both Vonn and Shiffrin share the mountain. A crash in a training run in Turin left her hospitalized, and it was no small measure of grit that she returned to the slopes to take eighth.
"Everything is fine, I feel sorry for my special discipline slalom, but on the other side these were very successful Olympic Games".
"With my downhill today, I had a bit too much of a bobble at the top on the traverse to really feel comfortable sending it like insane", Shiffrin said.
"Clearly", said Shiffrin's coach, Mike Day, "the downhill didn't go quite to plan".
At the bottom of the mountain, the surprise victor of the event, Michelle Gisin of Switzerland, celebrated her gold medal.
Indeed, they were. And I'm not going to take a back seat here, either.
"She can ski for another 10 years and have a lot more medals and a lot more World Cups".
She leaves here with one gold and one silver, an enormous accomplishment for any athlete here.
Perhaps more to the point would be whether Shiffrin has to make up two seconds. "She's so young and she approaches ski racing much different than pretty much anyone else", Vonn said later. In that respect, asking her to compete with the world's best in the super combined was a house-money situation. Vonn said she had watched video of downhill gold medalist Sofia Goggia of Italy, and said that damage to one of her skis may have cost her time in the downhill event on Wednesday. "And my other big goal was to prove that I could branch out and not just be a slalom skier". Yes, there is a team event Saturday, but neither Vonn nor Shiffrin is expected to enter, as is the case with the rest of the sport's biggest names, who would prefer to take a break before returning to the World Cup circuit. Switzerland's Michelle Gisin claimed gold, while her fellow Swiss Wendy Holdener won bronze.
This will be the first meeting for Shiffrin, a slalom expert, and Vonn, a downhill legend, on the slopes in Pyeongchang after countless weather postponements jumbled the schedule, resulting in Shiffrin sitting out several events.
"I'm going to miss the Olympics and that's one of the reasons why it was so emotional for me", Vonn said.
Going last and wearing her neon-colored shin guards, Vonn hooked a tip on the gate, ending her day. "I'll probably cry later on, but I think I'm all tapped out right now".
Slalom: The focus here is not so much speed as it is technical skiing. Yet for Mikaela Shiffrin, sorting out the path to that haul is complex. And I tried everything I could to win for him, ' said Vonn.