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Lindsey Vonn’s favorite medals: Olympics, worlds, Mickey Mouse

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Lindsey Vonn has a favorite row in her massive trophy case.

Laid out are her two Olympic medals, bordered on each side by her 10 world championships medals (junior and senior).

Finally, on each edge, are two medals not listed on her Wikipedia or International Ski Federation bio pages.

They are from the Trofeo Topolino di Sci Alpino in Italy, for skiers age 11-14. Known to some as the junior junior worlds, Vonn became the first U.S. woman to win the children’s slalom race there back in 1999.

“My first international competition medals, which were a really big deal at the time,” Vonn said while looking at the medals in a People magazine video tour of her house published Wednesday.

Topolino is from the Italian name for Mickey Mouse. The famous Disney character outline is visible on the Topolino medal shown in the People video.

Vonn’s prodigious talent blossomed at the turn of the millennium. She made her first Olympic team at 17 years old in 2002, won two world junior silver medals in 2003 and notched the first of her record 77 World Cup wins in 2004.

This past season, Vonn became the oldest female world championships medalist. In PyeongChang, she can become the oldest woman to win an Olympic Alpine medal.

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Lindsey Vonn’s goal in race versus men remains the same, 5 years later

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Lindsey Vonn‘s reported goal is to finish in the top 30 of a men’s World Cup race, should she get the opportunity before her expected retirement in two years.

“I think that would be doable,” Vonn said, according to a Ski Racing magazine article published Tuesday. “In men’s races, they’re so tight there’s usually only a second and a half to 30th, especially in Lake Louise where it’s an easier track for them.”

Vonn petitioned the International Ski Federation (FIS) both in 2012 and this year (and perhaps instances in between) to be allowed to enter a men’s race at her favorite venue — Lake Louise, Alberta, which traditionally hosts men’s speed races in late November and women’s speed races the following weekend.

So far, her bids have been denied by FIS, but her (and the U.S. Ski Team’s) case is slated to be discussed again in October. FIS said in 2012 “that one gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other.”

Vonn has won 18 times in 41 career World Cup starts at Lake Louise and eyes a men’s race there in November 2018 in what could be her final season of racing.

“There are some commentators who think that I would be far outside of the men,” Vonn said in 2012, according to The New York Times. “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but I’d like the chance to compete against them and see where I stand. I’d definitely like to be inside the points, in the top 30.”

Vonn was quoted in Tuesday’s Ski Racing story saying that she sometimes beat male Norwegian downhill star Aksel Lund Svindal in training five or six years ago.

Svindal, the pre-eminent men’s speed racer over the last decade, has publicly backed Vonn’s bid for years.

“My experience is if you are on a hill that she likes, and you don’t ski good, she can beat you,” Svindal said in 2012, at the height of Vonn’s dominance, according to the Canadian Press. “It’s realistic that she would be in the race.

“I say let her race. To get America more involved in skiing would be good for us. From a marketing point of view, it seems very strange to just cut it off like that and say ’not possible.’

“If I was FIS, I would keep that door open. Those are the kind of stories that are bigger than the sport and the kind of stories that would be popular in America.”

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Lindsey Vonn racing men ‘a very difficult topic,’ Alpine boss says

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If Lindsey Vonn will be allowed to enter a men’s race, then men must be allowed to ski with women, an International Ski Federation (FIS) official said.

FIS women’s race director Atle Skaardal said Vonn’s latest bid to enter a men’s World Cup race in November 2018 will be discussed further in October.

“It will be a very difficult challenge to find a reasonable way of doing this because one point that everyone is underestimating is that we need to have equal rights for everyone,” Skaardal said in a Sunday press release. “So if the ladies are allowed to race with the men, then also the men need to be authorized to ski with the ladies, and I’m not sure this is a direction we want to go.”

Vonn previously requested in 2012 to be able to race against men, but that was denied by FIS. The federation said then “that one gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other.”

Skaardal said FIS officials talked about Vonn’s continued lobbying in May meetings. FIS will see in October if the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association will bring a concrete proposal to make Vonn’s bid fit into rules.

“All the men say, ‘We don’t think she’s going to beat us,’ which is what they’re going to say, and also that, ‘It will be great for our sport,'” Vonn said earlier this year, according to The Associated Press. “So, what’s the harm?”

Vonn has said she plans to retire after the 2018-19 season. Racing men is one of three remaining career goals, after earning a 2018 Olympic medal and notching 10 more World Cup victories to break the career record.

“I know I’m not going to win, but I would like to at least have the opportunity to try [racing men],” Vonn said, according to the Denver Post in January. “I think I’ve won enough World Cups where I should have enough respect within the industry to be able to have that opportunity.”

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