Lindsey Vonn won her first downhill race of the new year in Italy Saturday, and her first race of any kind in more than five weeks, beating World Cup points leader Tina Maze by roughly a half-second.
“I’m excited to be racing and I have that fire again and I trust that my body is strong enough to ski the way I want to ski,” Vonn told the AP. “It wasn’t always the case in all the races this year. I’m back to my old self and it’s a good feeling.”
After a three-week break, and another skipped race following her return, Vonn finished in 1:38.25. Maze finished 0.43 behind and American Leanne Smith finished third for her second podium of the season.
“When I decided to take the break, I was so weak,” added Vonn. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to build enough strength back up in that short time to be able to race… I finally feel like myself again. I feel healthy, finally, and I’m able to ski the way I want to. It’s good to be back on top.”
Vonn is back on the mountain Sunday competing in a super-G race in Cortina. The four time world champ has won this particular race each of the last three years, so hopes are high.
Enjoy her performance here:
The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final competition to determine the Pyeongchang Olympic team, will be in San Jose, California, at the SAP Center, concluding Jan. 7.
It appears to be the earliest the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will end in an Olympic year in at least 50 years.
The competition will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed live on Icenetwork.com.
San Jose previously hosted the U.S. Championships in 1996 and 2012, but it has never hosted in an Olympic year.
Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds is from San Jose and figures to receive a boost of crowd support. Edmunds, 18, begins classes at nearby Santa Clara University next month.
The January 2017 U.S. Championships will be in Kansas City. The international figure skating season starts next month, with Skate America kicking off the Grand Prix season in October.
Recent Nationals host cities in Olympic years were Boston in 2014 and Spokane, Washington, in 2010.
MORE: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold headline Skate America
Olympic coaches don’t receive gold medals. Fiji Olympic men’s rugby coach Ben Ryan may have gotten something better anyway.
Ryan’s reward for guiding Fiji to its first Olympic medal in any sport — gold in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut — included three acres of land in Fiji and a new name, Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara, according to Fijian reports.
Ryan, a London native, is stepping down as coach of the Fijian team. The 44-year-old coached the team for three years after leading the England national sevens team for six years.
MORE: Fiji wins nation’s first Olympic medal