Four years later, she isn't just the heir apparent to Lindsey Vonn - still a medal favorite herself in her fourth and likely last Olympics - on the USA ski team, Shiffrin is poised to be the takeover star of the 2018 Games.
Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg is bidding for a second gold and third medal in the discipline having won in Vancouver at the age of 20 and picked up a bronze in Sochi.
Shiffrin said that while her Sochi gold was stashed away, "I did hang up my world championships medals in my room but more because I had deadspace on my wall".
"Right now, we're looking at any possibility", she said. An overall World Cup title last season. "If all I did was the slalom, I'd have so much free time I might as well get another job, too", she said.
"I was skiing really well, so I thought, 'Oh, everything's fine.' But I wasn't able to keep my mental focus until the finish, which is something that I actually pride myself on being really good at, normally".
"The expectations come more from myself", she said. When I get mentally exhausted, I just get more emotional.
"For me, that was like a defining moment that I needed to take a step back and get a couple days of rest and then get back into training", Shiffrin said. "I'm feeling much better, much more like myself".
She will be the overwhelming favorite in slalom Tuesday night, but she must be considered a solid medal contender in GS. "I'm not sure if I'm actually going to have that energy to do that".
"He has what, 23 medals?"
Shiffrin has one medal so far.
Shiffrin's dominance on the World Cup circuit has enthusiasts thinking she could become the "Winter Games Michael Phelps", the American swimmer who holds the all-time record of 23 gold medals, a comparison she was quick to dismiss.