SOCHI, Russia - Vail's Mikaela Shiffrin made Alpine skiing history Friday as the youngest ever winner of an Olympic slalom gold medal.
The 18-year-old American made an impressive first run. She almost missed a gate in her second run, but made an astonishing recovery midway through showing impressive balance and agility to win in 1 minute, 44.54 seconds.
She finished 0.53 seconds faster than veteran Marlies Schild of Austria, one of Shiffrin's childhood favorites.
Kathrin Zettel of Austria took bronze, trailing 0.81 behind Shiffrin.
Shiffrin hesitated to celebrate as she completed her run, and only seemed sure she had won when Schild and Zettel came across the finish area to raise her arms in triumph.
Shiffrin took the record for youngest Olympic slalom champion, male or female, from Paoletta Magoni of Italy, who won gold at the 1984 Sarajevo Games when she was 19.
Schriffin completed a full set of slalom honors -- Olympic and world championship gold medals and a season-long World Cup discipline title -- before her 19th birthday next month.
American Julia Ford finished out of the medal competition in the slalom competition.