Vonn reaches skiing peak again, with eyes on next quest - Skiing Forum - Downhill , Cross Country Skiing Discussion Forum
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Vonn reaches skiing peak again, with eyes on next quest

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Lindsey Vonn won't be passing around any champagne bottles to celebrate her second consecutive World Cup overall title. The last time she celebrated, she severed a tendon in her thumb, which nearly cut short her best season ever on the international ski racing circuit.

With her surgically repaired right hand duct-taped to her ski pole, Vonn, who grew up in Burnsville, won a downhill race Wednesday in Åre, Sweden, to become the first American woman to earn two World Cup overall crowns. The former Buck Hill prodigy defended the overall title she won last season, and she clinched her second consecutive downhill title last month. But just a few hours after receiving her trophy, Vonn already was planning for the next race -- and the next season.

Today, she could capture the super-G championship. Next year, she wants to medal at the 2010 Olympics. The more Vonn wins, the more driven she becomes, which leaves little time to toast the things she's already accomplished.

"This season has been amazing," said Vonn, 24, whose 46 World Cup medals are the most won by an American woman. "I'm really happy and thankful to win the overall title again, and it really means a lot to me.

"Last year, I was asked a lot, 'You've already won the overall. What will you do next?' I just looked to the next goal: to defend the downhill and overall titles, the world championships, and of course, the Olympics next season. There is always something to keep me motivated."

Earlier this season, Vonn won her first world championship golds, capturing the downhill and super-G. She broke Tamara McKinney's record for most World Cup victories by an American woman and now has 21 golds on the circuit, including seven this season.

After winning the overall title last season -- the first for a U.S. woman since McKinney's title in 1983 -- Vonn recognized everyone would be gunning for her this winter. She stepped up an already grueling workout routine and got back to her slalom roots, striving to improve in that discipline after concentrating on the speed events for the past few years. Vonn won two slaloms this season, her first World Cup victories in that discipline, and her three super-G golds left her 15 points behind Switzerland's Fabienne Suter for the discipline title heading into today's final race of the season.

Three of her victories came while skiing with one functioning hand. Vonn severed the tendon in her right thumb on a broken champagne bottle during the world championships, and she cannot buckle her boots, take off her jacket or push off strongly on her starts. She compensated by skiing more aggressively and kept right on winning, even as Europe's fierce weather made the courses increasingly perilous.

"For a while [after the injury], it was looking dark and gloomy, and I didn't think it was possible to ski," Vonn said. "But I worked through it. To be able to finish the season strong is great.''

Vonn has become such a celebrity in Europe that she needed four security guards to get her out of the finish area after a race in Bulgaria, and she inadvertently started a brawl when she threw her winner's bouquet to the crowd. With good health, she expects to race for several more years, inciting speculation that she could become the most successful U.S. skier of either gender. She trails only Bode Miller, who has 31 World Cup victories, and Phil Mahre, who holds 27.

With the Olympics on the horizon, Vonn will take only one month off before diving into her most rigorous summer training yet. "I'm going to work twice as hard, and I hope it pays off," she said. "The Olympics mean everything to me. This is my chance to show everyone who I am and show the sport I love. I hope these Olympics will be my time."
Vonn reaches skiing peak again, with eyes on next quest
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's funny to read this after she's consolidated as the best alpine skier. She's so young and still has a bright future. She was awesome last Winter Olympics. Alpine Skiing - Olympic Alpine Skiing Videos & Photos | Olympic.org
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