Olympic crush: Mikaela Shiffrin

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At only 18, Team USA's Mikaela Shiffrin is the reigning World Cup champion in slalom -- and now an Olympic gold medalist. The Olympic newcomer from Vail, Colo. skipped the Opening Ceremony to keep training across Europe. "I've envisioned this moment for quite awhile,” she recently told reporters. “To everybody, it’s my first Olympics. But to me, it’s my thousandth.”




First-placed Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. poses with a U.S. flag after the flower ceremony for the women's alpine skiing slalom event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre, February 21, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (RUSSIA - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT SKIING)
First-placed Shiffrin of the U.S. poses with a U.S. flag after the flower ceremony for the women's alpine skiing slalom event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre
First-placed Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. poses with a U.S. flag after the flower ceremony for the women's alpine skiing slalom event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre, February 21, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (RUSSIA - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT SKIING)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21: Gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States celebrates during the flower ceremony for the Women's Slalom during day 14 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Alpine Skiing - Winter Olympics Day 14
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21: Gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States celebrates during the flower ceremony for the Women's Slalom during day 14 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. skis during the first run of the women's alpine skiing slalom event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT SKIING OLYMPICS)
Shiffrin of the U.S. skis during the first run of the women's alpine skiing slalom event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. skis during the first run of the women's alpine skiing slalom event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT SKIING OLYMPICS)
<p class="regdt">Gold medal winner Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States celebrates as she finishes the second run of the women's slalom at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)</p>
Mikaela Shiffrin

Gold medal winner Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States celebrates as she finishes the second run of the women's slalom at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 27: Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin poses for a portrait during the USOC Portrait Shoot on April 27, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mikaela Shiffrin
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WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 27: Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin poses for a portrait during the USOC Portrait Shoot on April 27, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mikaela Shiffrin
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21: Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States celebrates winning gold after her second run during the Women&#39;s Slalom during day 14 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Alpine Skiing - Winter Olympics Day 14
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21: Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States celebrates winning gold after her second run during the Women's Slalom during day 14 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin
<span><span><span>"#parkcitychillin</span><span>#homeworkbreak</span><span>#duckfacecauseican</span><span>#noduckface," she wrote on Instagram. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)<br></span></span></span>
"#parkcitychillin #homeworkbreak #duckfacecauseican #noduckface," she wrote on Instagram. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
"#parkcitychillin#homeworkbreak#duckfacecauseican#noduckface," she wrote on Instagram. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 18: Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States reacts after a run during the Alpine Skiing Women's Giant Slalom on day 11 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 18: Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States reacts after a run during the Alpine Skiing Women's Giant Slalom on day 11 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 18: (FRANCE OUT) Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA competes during the Alpine Skiing Women's Giant Slalom at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre on February 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 18: (FRANCE OUT) Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA competes during the Alpine Skiing Women's Giant Slalom at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre on February 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - OCTOBER 02: Alpine Skier Mikaela Shiffrin poses for a portrait during the USOC Media Summit ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on October 2, 2013 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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PARK CITY, UT - OCTOBER 02: Alpine Skier Mikaela Shiffrin poses for a portrait during the USOC Media Summit ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on October 2, 2013 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 18: Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States reacts after the Alpine Skiing Women's Giant Slalom on day 11 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 18: Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States reacts after the Alpine Skiing Women's Giant Slalom on day 11 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC News' Natalie Morales, skiier Mikaela Shiffrin appears on NBC News' "Today" show on March 20, 2013 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire)
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TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC News' Natalie Morales, skiier Mikaela Shiffrin appears on NBC News' "Today" show on March 20, 2013 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire)
<span><span><span>"I guess jetlag isn't quite finished with me yet...or maybe I can't sleep for other reasons? </span><span>#stillawake</span><span>#chasingreindeer</span><span>#santasworkshop," the Alpine skier wrote on Instagram. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)<br></span></span></span>
"I guess jetlag isn't quite finished with me yet...or maybe I can't sleep for other reasons? #stillawake #chasingreindeer #santasworkshop," the Alpine skier wrote on Instagram. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
"I guess jetlag isn't quite finished with me yet...or maybe I can't sleep for other reasons? #stillawake#chasingreindeer#santasworkshop," the Alpine skier wrote on Instagram. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
Mikaela Shiffrin rocks some patriotic mittens. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
Mikaela Shiffrin rocks some patriotic mittens. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
Mikaela Shiffrin rocks some patriotic mittens. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
Mikaela Shiffrin enjoys the scenery. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
Mikaela Shiffrin enjoys the scenery. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
Mikaela Shiffrin enjoys the scenery. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
The 18-year-old Olympian shows off some jewelry. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
The 18-year-old Olympian shows off some jewelry. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
The 18-year-old Olympian shows off some jewelry. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
The 18-year-old Olympian skipped the Opening Ceremony to train. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
The 18-year-old Olympian skipped the Opening Ceremony to train. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
The 18-year-old Olympian skipped the Opening Ceremony to train. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin won the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's race last month in Austria. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin won the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's race last month in Austria. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin won the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's race last month in Austria. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin poses with one of her trophies in Austria. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin poses with one of her trophies in Austria. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin poses with one of her trophies in Austria. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin took first place at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom last month in Italy. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA took first place at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom last month in Italy. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin took first place at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom last month in Italy. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin visualizes her races before competing. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin visualizes her races before competing. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin visualizes her races before competing. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Mikaela Shiffrin travels the world to compete. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
Mikaela Shiffrin travels the world to compete. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
Mikaela Shiffrin travels the world to compete. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin

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