sochi

Mikaela Shiffrin reaches goal: Olympic gold at age 18

Feb. 22, 2014 at 2:59 PM ET

Mikaela Shiffrin said it wasn't just her mom's support that helped her succeed —  it was also her cooking.
TODAY
Mikaela Shiffrin said it wasn't just her mom's support that helped her succeed —  it was also her cooking.

U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin won slalom gold at the Sochi Winter Olympics, becoming, at age 18, the youngest ever to do so. 

"I always wanted to be the youngest to win gold," she told TODAY's Lester Holt Saturday in Sochi. "That was my biggest goal growing up."

But during what would turn out to be her gold-medal winning run, she admitted, she almost lost control, nearly fumbling on her skis as she rounded an obstacle. 

Video: Mikaela Shiffrin in the spotlight at the Sochi Games

"That's the point of racing. You get one chance," she said. That one chance turned into a first-place win.

Shiffrin has been called a poised, mature and prepared athlete. She said she credits her mom, who joined her in Sochi, with much of her success. 

"It's so incredible to have her right next to me," Shriffin told Holt. "She's one of my best friends ... she helps me keep everything in perspective and stay on the course." 

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