Lindsey Vonn, 31, won a World Cup giant slalom race in Sweden on Saturday. Her American teammate, Mikaela Shiffrin, crashed during a warmup run and was forced to bow out of the race. This was the fourth straight win for Vonn, having taken three speed races last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.
“I love racing here in Are under the lights,” Vonn said. According to USA Today, Vonn commented that it reminded her of growing up in Minnesota and her after-school training runs. “
The course had been shortened, due to strong winds, but Vonn tackled the artificially lit course with force in her first run while her competitors played it safe. Racing through falling snow during her second run, she was able to hang on to her lead and clocked in at a two-run combined time of 2 minutes 4.70 seconds.
“I feel really good on my skis and balanced. I have a lot of confidence, especially after Lake Louise,” Vonn commented. “I said last week if I finish Lake Louise strong that always means good things for the rest of the season.”
The second place finisher, Eva-Maria Brem from Australia, finished a mere 0.07 seconds later with the discipline leader, Italian Frederica Brignone coming in third, reported Yahoo News.
Vonn’s lead over Brem was a slender three hundredths of a second at the final interval. Her practice and skill at gliding paid off by the final gates.
“I tried to be smart on the bottom where it was turny and some of the girls had some trouble,” she said. “I think I may have given away too much time there, but still I was attacking the whole time trying to arc and I was fast.”
USA Today reported that Vonn let out a loud yell in celebration, pumping her poles and kissing her skis.
“The old woman still has some tricks up her sleeve,” Vonn added. “I’m not maybe as agile as I used to be. I’m not maybe as explosive. But at the same time I know my ability and I know what I can do and I know in different situations what is required of me. And so I knew today it was going to take two really good, aggressive runs and my experience paid off and I was able to win.”
Vonn’s lead in the overall standings over Shiffrin, the acknowledged Olympic Slalom champion increased after the win to 104 points. The next in rank is Switzerland’s Lara Gut at 122 points behind Vonn. Gut finished 13th in the giant slalom.
Shiffrin, 20, ended up in the hospital after her wipe out to have a physician take a look at her knee. Kilian Albrecht, Shiffrin’s manager commented on the injury. “She basically flipped over into the net. She’s in the hospital waiting for the MRI which will probably take a while.”
The first racer, Sara Hector of Sweden had to stop halfway through her run due to a knee injury. She was brought off the course by sled.
“I hope both of them are OK,” Vonn said, “We need them back at the start tomorrow.”
Although Vonn specializes in the speed of downhill and super-G, this is her fourth win in giant slalom. It was the 71st World Cup of her career. Last year she broke the previous women’s record of 62 wins set by Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria. Her next goal is an overall mark of 86 wins held by Ingemark Stenmark.
Von’s aggressive techniques allows her to break records, but also leads to many crashes. Multiple right knee injuries caused her to miss the 2014 Sochi Olympics. She also missed the first opportunity of the season for a win in giant slalom at the race held in Sheldon, Austria in October, due to a broken left ankle.
[Photo by Christopher Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Sport]