Maybe the most important medal Mikaela Shiffrin ever wins: this silver

JEONGSEON, South Korea — Both Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn raced the Alpine super-combined on Friday, the first time the two American skiers competed against each other at the Olympics, and almost surely the last. 

The experts made Shiffrin the pre-race favorite for gold. For Vonn, medal prospects were akin to — in her words — Russian roulette

 Mikaela Shiffrin celebrating her silver in the Olympic super-combined // Getty Images

Mikaela Shiffrin celebrating her silver in the Olympic super-combined // Getty Images

Shiffrin didn’t win. She did, after a hard-charging slalom, take silver. Vonn, leader after the downhill, hooked a tip in slalom, and skied out, meaning no medal of any sort.

This silver may, when all is said and done, be one of the most important medals Mikaela Shiffrin ever wins. You saw in it real joy. You saw in it leadership. She is, going forward, the face of the U.S. ski team, and the way she embraced that silver means she and the American program have reason to celebrate.

“To have two medals at the Olympics — that’s insane,” Shiffrin said.

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