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17-Year-Old From Vail Making History On The Slopes

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Mikaela Shiffrin of the US poses with her gold medal during the medal awards ceremony after the women's slalom at the 2013 Ski World Championships in Schladming, Austria on February 16, 2013.        (credit: OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Mikaela Shiffrin of the US poses with her gold medal during the medal awards ceremony after the women’s slalom at the 2013 Ski World Championships in Schladming, Austria on February 16, 2013. (credit: OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

VAIL, Colo. (CBS4) – A 17-year-old born in Vail is making history on the slopes.

Mikaela Shiffrin is the youngest woman in 39 years to win the slalom title. She was in third place heading into her final run, but after the race, her time said she was the fastest in the world.

“I keep saying it, I keep thinking it … it doesn’t make sense. It’s just me,” Shiffrin said.

Geoff Mintz writes for Ski Racing Magazine and was there when she crossed the finish line.

“She’s very smart. She handles things in a way that you would expect of a 30-year-old athlete, maybe not a 17-year-old athlete,” Mintz said.

It’s easy to forget she’s just a teenager from Vail — she hasn’t even graduated from high school. But she’s no stranger to world class skiing. Last year she was named World Cup Rookie of the Year.

Earlier this month, star skier Lidnsey Vonn had a major crash that ended her season. Expectations for Shiffrin are high.

“There is no such thing as a sure thing in the sport of ski racing,” Mintz said. “But if there ever was one, she is as close as you can get to it.”

It may have been Shiffrin’s biggest victory to date with the Winter Olympics just a year away.

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