SOCHI, Russia – When American skier Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest winner of an Olympic slalom, she had plenty of people to thank.
Her coaches, her family and her Team USA teammates, of course. They provided inspiration, guidance and advice that helped her reach the top of the Olympic world.
It turns out there was another person who helped her win gold in the women's slalom without even knowing it. Shiffrin says she was inspired by Russian Adelina Sotnikova's stunning victory in figure skating and that she drew from a sport that would, at first glance, appear to have little in common with the breakneck pace of skiing.
"I guess I should break a piece of that medal off and give it to the gold medalist in the figure skating competition because I watched her the night before my race and I saw that she was able to flow more than anybody else and she kept her skates moving," Shiffrin, of Vail, Colo., said Saturday.
"And I took that into my skiing and I just tried to keep my skis moving all the way down the course. I really appreciated the beauty of her routine."
— By Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski
Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu