"It was a pretty spectacular day, actually," she said. "I mean it's not sunny, but on the other hand who gets to race their first Olympics in rain this bad when there's still snow on the ground, right?"
Shiffrin praised the women who skied faster than she did.
"I think it was a pretty fair race," she said. "And I'm just really in awe of the top three girls and the fourth girl (Nadia Fanchini, 27, of Italy), because she was ahead of me."
Shiffrin said she would analyze the race tape and see where she could improve in Friday's slalom.
Shiffrin put Tuesday in the file cabinet under "learning experience," but also served up some interesting bravado.
"Next Olympics I go to I'm sure the heck not getting fifth," she said.
Shiffrin said race day did not overwhelm her and she quickly put it in big-picture perspective.
"I believed I wasn't going to win my first World Cup slalom race until I was ready because if I won it a minute sooner then I wouldn't' be able to continue to win," Shiffrin said. "I think it's the same for GS. I was really thinking my first GS win would be at the Olympics and that would be such a cool thing to accomplish, but it's just something I accept."
The bottom line was presented to her at the bottom of the hill.
"I got fifth today," she said. "There were four girls who skied better than I did."
She'll try not to let that happen again Friday.