Olympics: Vonn wants Stenmark's record as well as more medals
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[November 02, 2017]
By Steve Keating
(Reuters) - Already the most decorated
woman in World Cup Alpine skiing with 77 wins, Lindsey Vonn has set
her sights on outdoing the men as well.
The 33-year-old American is chasing a record once thought
untouchable -- the all-time mark of 86 World Cup victories held by
Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark.
She is also eager to add another Olympic downhill gold to the one
she claimed at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and then next season
test herself against the best male skiers in a World Cup race.
"I have more to do," Vonn told Reuters at a United States Olympic
Committee (USOC) event in New York's Times Square to mark the start
of the 100-day countdown to the Pyeongchang Olympics.
"What keeps me going is I love what I do. I love ski racing, I love
"I love skiing on the World Cup, I love the partnerships that I have
made, the friends that I have, everything about it is perfect.
"Just because I am older doesn't mean that I have to stop skiing and
as long as I am skiing fast that's all that matters."
With the World Cup season just underway Vonn is clearly not yet up
The four-time overall World Cup champion finished 34th in the
opening leg of a giant slalom -- not her best event -- last Saturday
on the Rettenbach glacier above Soelden, Austria, failing to qualify
for a second run.
Despite the sluggish start there is no panic in the Vonn camp as
they look ahead to the season's first speed races in Lake Louise,
Canada, where she has recorded 18 victories, and to Pyeongchang
which will stage races on a hill very much to her liking.
"I really like the course, the Olympic super-G and downhill are
great tracks," said Vonn, who recorded second-place results in a
World Cup downhill and super-G held on the South Korean Olympic
course last March.
"When we raced there... it was perfect," Vonn said. "Racing last
weekend, I hadn't raced that discipline in almost two years, I was a
little bit rusty and skied well within myself.
"I don't worry about it. I know I'm a lot faster than my results and
it's not my main discipline so no big deal."
TWO OLYMPIC MEDALS
Winning another gold medal, however, would be a huge deal for Vonn
who despite all her success on mountains around the world has picked
up only two Winter Games medals -- gold in the Vancouver downhill
and a bronze in the super-G.
At the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics she failed to win a medal and she
missed out on the 2014 Sochi Games following knee surgery.
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Olympic gold medalist skier Lindsey Vonn poses for a portrait in New
York City, U.S., November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
"Vancouver was amazing and winning there was the best feeling I have
ever had in my entire career so if I could get that again I would be
extremely grateful and all the hard work I have done over the last
eight years will have paid off," said Vonn. "I just have to ski my
"If I can get to the Olympics healthy and I ski the way I can I'm
not really worried about it.
"At the end of the day all I can do is my best... if some of these
young girls beat me so be it but I still think I am the best
downhill skier out there and I intend to prove that."
Vonn is also out to prove she can compete with the men and replace
Stenmark, who raced in the 1970s and 1980s, as Alpine skiing's
"It's amazing -- Ingemar has had this record of World Cup wins that
seemed absolutely unattainable and to be even remotely in the ball
park is such a huge feat," said Vonn. "I'm honored to be in the same
sentence as him but hopefully I can break his record.
"That's my goal but to have the most World Cup wins of any female is
still a big accomplishment."
Vonn has long yearned to test herself against the best men in the
sport but International Ski Federation (FIS) officials have been
U.S. Ski and Snowboard backs Vonn effort and has submitted a
proposal as a one-time exception which the FIS will vote on at their
council meeting in May.
"I've been training with the men since 2011 and I think it pushes me
to another level," explained Vonn. "As much as I don't want to admit
it, men are much stronger than we are and much faster at ski racing
so they truly are the pinnacle of my sport.
"I've accomplished a lot in women's ski racing but that's the next
"I know I'm not going to win, or at least I don't think so, but I
want the opportunity to try."
(Editing by Clare Fallon)
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