American skier Mikaela Shiffrin happily left her first Olympics with a gold medal in the women’s slalom – but plans to strive for five at the next Games.

Mikaela Shiffrin Captures The Gold

At 18, Shiffrin is ahead of the curve. Last year, she became the youngest American skier named a World Champion and did it a second time in January. With Lindsay Vonn sidelined from Sochi 2014 due to her knee troubles, Shiffrin shouldered the pressure of bringing home a medal in the event.

“I know that in the United States, the Olympics are the only time millions and millions of people watch ski racing, so it means a lot to the sport and the country,” Shiffrin told The Times last month. “So I understand the significance, but at the same time, it’s not the end of the world."

“I will want to win. But the result of the race will not motivate me," she added. "I can honestly say that I am motivated by improvement, not results. That’s a core principle.”


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Shiffrin's S. Korean 2018 Ambitions

After getting her first gold medal under her belt, Shiffrin is singing a different tune. She’s gotten the taste of an Olympic gold and now is determined to get more. In fact, the young skier wants to sweep the Alpine events – downhill, super G, Giant slalom, slalom and super combined.

"I'm still young and I still have a lot of strength to gain over the next few summers of conditioning and the next few winters of skiing," Shiffrin told USA Today, revealing the preparation she’ll need to make her South Korea 2018 dreams a reality. "I don't want to push myself too far too fast and definitely don't get greedy, but at the same time, I'm a dreamer.

"So right now I'm dreaming of the next Olympics, winning five gold medals. Which sounds really crazy. Sorry I just admitted that to you all."

Shiffrin doesn’t think her dreams are representative of hubris, but of the Olympic spirit. World-class male and female athletes don’t train for years with the ambition of doing okay, they want to win – win big if possible.

"It's ok to be confident [at the Olympics],” She said. “It's ok for me to go into my first press conference and say, 'I'm going for two medals, I'm going for gold.' Because I think I can. I don't think it's jinxing here, and I don't think it's arrogant. I think it's just a fact: We come to the Olympics to win."

– Chelsea Regan

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