Vonn shares milestone WCup win with younger sister
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Lindsey Vonn finally got to share a World Cup victory with her little sister, a milestone that moved her into third place on the career wins list.
The American ended a five-week winless streak Sunday with a dominating victory in the super-G, capturing her 47th career title. Vonn finished a massive 0.61 seconds ahead of rival Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, and Tina Maze of Slovenia was third.
Laura Kildow began a visit to Europe last weekend only to witness Vonn uncharacteristically miss the podium in two speed races because of a stomach illness.
“I felt bad last week because I didn’t do very well,” said Vonn, the overall World Cup leader. “It wasn’t a very good example of a World Cup weekend, but this weekend went much better.”
Vonn’s victory moved her ahead of retired Austrian great Renate Goetschl on the career list. Only Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Proell (62) and Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider (55) have more.
“Records in skiing are really important to me,” Vonn said. “The history in our sport is something you can look back on when you’re career is over and really be proud of what you accomplished.”
Vonn opened the weekend with a second-place finish in Saturday’s downhill, although she almost risked missing that race following a warmup mishap with her sister — which she hesitated to recount.
“Oh my gosh! She’s going to kill me,” Vonn said. “She thought it was going to be really cool to try to beat me and I didn’t know she was so close behind me, and she came up and clipped the side of me and totally went down.
“But she had the biggest smile on her face as she was crashing into the woods. We were laughing about it this morning. She’s so small but she has absolutely no fear. I’m disappointed she’s not a ski racer because she would have been a great downhiller.”
The last of the top-ranked skiers to start, Vonn led at every interval and was more than a second ahead of Hoefl-Riesch at the last checkpoint. While she lost nearly half of her lead over Hoefl-Riesch on the lower section of the course, Vonn celebrated when she crossed the finish line, hardly looking to see her time.
Vonn claimed her sixth career win in Cortina, moving within four of Goetschl’s record for victories in a single resort. She also tied Goetschl for the most super-G wins on the all-time list with 17
“Renate has always been such a role model. I remember a few years ago racing together. She did so much in her career,” Vonn said. “Cortina has always been a special place for me. I had my first World Cup podium here and I like the hill and the snow is always perfect — really dry, dense snow that’s really similar to the snow in Colorado where I grew up skiing.”
Vonn extended her lead in both the overall and super-G standings. She holds a 291-point lead over Maze in the overall standings and stands 87 points ahead of Switzerland’s Fabienne Suter in the super-G.
Vonn woke up early to keep tabs on the Denver Broncos in the NFL playoffs, although her team lost 45-10 to the New England Patriots.
“I had my NFL app running and it was alerting me on the scores, but unfortunately it wasn’t alerting me very often of the Broncos score,” Vonn said. “It’s tough, but I still have one team in the mix — Green Bay.”
While she’ll probably keep tabs on the Packers game, too, Vonn will head to Venice with her sister before next weekend’s races in Kranjska Gora.
“Normally I don’t get to do fun things like this, so we’re going to have some pizza, maybe some gelato, cruise around, go shopping, take a lot of pictures,” Vonn said. “I’ll update you guys on Facebook on how it went.”
After Venice, her sister is leaving to study in Florence, Italy.
“I’ve gotten so used to having her around that it’s going to be tough to be alone, but I’m working on recruiting more friends to come over,” said Vonn, who announced in November her divorce from coach and chief adviser Thomas Vonn. “I hope she can come back some other weekend, and hopefully some of my other family members can come as well.”
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Back in classes and back in competition, the wintertime athletes of Moffat County High School are making up time from the holiday hiatus.