Mikaela Shiffrin, with "nothing to lose," wins Olympic giant slalom gold

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — As the late, great Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part. 

Mikaela Shiffrin made it look — almost — easy. 

Confronted with weather-related delays that pushed back the start of her 2018 Winter Games. the American ski star captured the keen mental edge it takes to ski on the edge, but not beyond, to win Olympic gold in the women's giant slalom.

In Sochi, an 18-year-old Shiffrin won gold in slalom but finished fifth in GS. She vowed to become No. 1 in GS, too. 

 Shiffrin after winning Friday's giant slalom // Getty Images

Shiffrin after winning Friday's giant slalom // Getty Images

Turning 23 next month, she is now a two-time Olympic champion, winner of a first medal for the United States in women’s giant slalom since Julia Mancuso's Torino 2006 gold. Shiffrin is also just the sixth woman in Olympic history to win gold in both the slalom and giant slalom, joining the likes of Andrea Mead-Lawrence of the United States and Croatia’s Janica Kostelić.

For more, please visit NBCOlympics.com: http://bit.ly/2GhF1Ca