Olympian Mikaela Shiffrin looks to conquer slalom, downhill skiing

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"You taught me to be tough, to be kind, and above all, to ski fast", Vonn said in an Instagram post shortly after his death, one of many social media postings hailing the influence of her grandfather, who was ironically stationed not far from the Jeongseon Alpine Centre when he served with the U.S. army during the Korean War.

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the first Games held in South Korea in 30 years, officially opened on Friday with fireworks, song and symbolism featured amid celebrations of light, peace, and harmony.

Even after fulfilling her media obligations, Shiffrin did not have much time to celebrate.

"It's extremely lonely on the road and since I got divorced I've had a lot of free time on my hands at night and being in a hotel room is often extremely hard".

"It's going to be so close on Sunday as a result", said the 27-year-old, who upset a host of favoured rivals to claim a shock win before he'd even claimed a World Cup downhill victory.

Injury robbed her of a chance to defend her title in Sochi in 2014 and she is determined to make up for that.

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"If it wasn't for my grandfather I wouldn't be racing", Vonn told CNN's Alpine Edge in St Moritz, Switzerland in December.

It's a dog. That's way better than lugging around Tiger Woods in your Vonn-tourage, don't you think? Once I started skiing again, I was doing three to four hours in the morning and then working out for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Vonn's first event is the Super G. That's not scheduled until February 17th.

She plans to draw on the love of her late grandfather and the presence in South Korea of her dog, Lucy, a spaniel, in seeking success in the downhill, super-G and combined events here.

The 33-year-old from the United States is arguably the greatest ski racer of all time, yet she has just one Olympic gold, from her third Games in Vancouver in 2010.

"It's harder in some ways, definitely, that it is my last Olympics, because I really want to end on a high note".

Lufthansa later put Vonn on a new plane, with the skier mentioning in her tweet that Lufthana's flight attendants worked overtime to stay on the flight so the trip could continue, though it was not exactly clear when the plane would take off.

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"I've had a lot of ups and downs since Vancouver but I feel like I am coming into these Olympics on a hot streak, I am skiing exceptionally well and I have a lot of confidence". Most of the time. She travels with me everywhere.

But, after Vonn dabbed away her tears with a tissue, know who stole the show at a packed press conference?

It was devastating to miss the Sochi Olympics after I had already fought so hard to come back from the same injury. He has been such a big part of my life.

"But I know that he is going to help me and I am going to win for him". They would drop my brother and I off there and we'd go skiing all day and my parents would pick us up after work.

She said: "I want so badly to do well for him".

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