Mikaela Shiffrin just misses medal in Olympic debut

Mikaela Shiffrin

American skiing phenom Mikaela Shiffrin got her first Olympic race under her belt Tuesday.

Shiffrin competed in the giant slalom in Sochi, just missing the medal podium. The 18-year-old is expected to be the next American superstar on snow.

"It's amazing to be at the Olympics, to have my first race out of the way and this is an awesome race to be a part of," Shiffrin said. "Especially with those top three girls. They race well and it's cool for me to see."

Despite nasty conditions on the mountain, Shiffrin managed to bring home a fifth-place finish, missing a bronze medal by 0.23 seconds.

"I knew I was going to be nervous and I was, but when I was in the gate, I was able to push those nerves aside and I just tried to race as well as I can," she said. "It boiled down to losing a couple tenths of a second on a couple turns. I didn't ski as cleanly as the other girls."

While we witnessed the beginning of a new career, we may have seen the end of another. Julia Mancuso skied off course and didn't finish. The 29-year-old has won four Olympic medals, but her time in the Olympic spotlight may be over.