Very early on Thursday morning, the United States learned that one of its very own skiers took home another gold. The video of Mikaela Shiffrin's 2018 Olympics giant slalom run just makes you wonder how it feels to go that quickly down a hill. It might be hard to imagine, but it's absolutely thrilling to watch.
Her run is even more impressive considering giant slalom wasn't expected to be her best event. She scored a 1:10.82 in her first run down the hill and a 1:09.20 for her second run, bringing her to a gold-medal-winning total of 2:20.02. She beat the runner-up, Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway, by a tight 0.39 seconds. Third place went to Italy's Federica Brignone, who trailed Shiffrin by 0.46 seconds.
Right after her first run, it seemed like the 22-year-old skier was in great spirits and more than ready to make her way down the slope again. As she told reporters:
No, it's really nice. It's fair today which is really, really important at the Olympics. The conditions are great, the weather is beautiful and it's a pleasure to be racing today.
"I can go harder in the second run," The New York Times reported that she added. "And there's nothing to hold back in the second run."
That's because her first run missed the top spot by just 0.20 seconds — still, she seemed confident that she could compensate for it. After realizing she beat out 29 other skiers following her second run, she went down to her knees, surely crying tears of joy. This is her second Olympic gold medal, and the United States' eighth medal so far in the 2018 Olympic Games.
Giant slalom historically hasn't been Shiffrin's signature race. During her first Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014, for example, she placed fifth in the giant slalom (that's still pretty amazing for Shiffrin, who was just 18 years old at the time).
Slalom, however, is a different story for the skier. As People magazine noted, she's the first woman in almost eight decades to win three world slalom titles in a row. The slalom race will air in the United States on Thursday, and if you're a Shiffrin fan, it's an event you don't want to miss.
Since arriving at the Olympic Games, Shiffrin hasn't been super active on Twitter, and it could be because she's dedicating all of her focus to the races ahead. The one time she did post was after her giant slalom race was delayed due to weather.
Getting closer and closer to getting in the start gate! It is important we have a fair race for all of the athletes and today's conditions would definitely not have been fair. GS tomorrow – watch it LIVE on @nbc!
Imagine mentally preparing yourself for your first 2018 Olympic race, only to find out that it's being delayed until the next day. The anticipation she must have felt is difficult to fathom, but she was right — skiing under Tuesday's windy conditions would have been bad.
As TIME put it, the delay could have worked in Shiffrin's favor considering she's a solid skier who doesn't need much luck. A gust of strong wind could push an otherwise less experienced skier forward, giving them a surprise advantage, if the race wouldn't have been postponed. A gust in the wrong direction, then, could do the opposite.
That being said, Shiffrin still has more races ahead of her and she's not about to give up. After taking the gold medal, she told NBC that coming in fifth place in giant slalom in Sochi inspired her to set a new goal for herself: become the best giant slalom skier in the world. Surely, she's going to hang onto that attitude in the upcoming races.