US Ski Team: Vonn cleared for downhill training
Lindsey Vonn was cleared to get back on a World Cup course for
downhill training, the latest step as she works to return from a
right knee injury and get ready for the Sochi Olympics.
Now Vonn – and the rest of the skiing world – will wait to find
out whether she’ll actually be racing by the end of this week.
The four-time overall World Cup champion and reigning Olympic
downhill gold medalist is expected to start in Wednesday’s first
official training session at Lake Louise, the U.S. Ski Team said
The team added that not until Thursday would a decision be made
on whether Vonn will return to competition for the first time since
tearing right knee ligaments in a high-speed crash at the world
championships last February. The scheduled races at Lake Louise – a
site Vonn has dominated in the past, including three-victory sweeps
in 2011 and 2012 – are downhills on Friday and Saturday, with a
super-G on Sunday.
Vonn will start 10th in Wednesday’s training run.
”She’s trying to come back as quick as possible, and it just
happens to be that Lake Louise is on the (schedule) right now,”
U.S. women’s coach Alex Hoedlmoser said. ”It’s a very good place
for her to come back and try because she’s very familiar with the
course and had success here.”
The U.S. Ski Team said Vonn ”felt strong” after doing super-G
training in her hometown of Vail, Colo., last weekend, and that her
surgeon, Dr. Bill Sterett, feels ”her knee is stable.”
”I hope she is in good shape. I hope she’s fit,” said Atle
Skaardal, the women’s race director for the International Ski
Federation (FIS). ”Because racing downhill is not something you do
if you are not in too good shape.”
Originally, Tuesday was supposed to be the first day of downhill
training, but that was called off because of travel delays from the
women’s previous World Cup stop at Beaver Creek, Colo.
Vonn was working toward a return to racing there last week,
until wiping out during a training run on Nov. 19, and partially
tearing a ligament in her surgically repaired knee.
The American told The Associated Press over the weekend that she
needs another operation on her knee but is trying to put it off as
long as possible in order to be able to ski at the Sochi Games,
which begin in a little more than two months.
Vonn is three race wins from equaling the World Cup women’s
record of 62 held by Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Proell. Of her 59
career World Cup race victories, 14 have come at Lake Louise in the
She is so successful – and comfortable – on this particular
slope, she petitioned FIS in October 2012 to allow her to compete
in a men’s World Cup race at Lake Louise. That request was turned
”This is kind of her playground here,” Skaardal said, ”and
she could probably not ask for a better place to do a
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