Lindsey Vonn could return one week early

Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn could return to competition one week earlier than expected.

The 2010 Olympic downhill champion is giving serious thought to skiing at the World Cup stop in Aspen, Colo., on Thanksgiving weekend but also called it “a long shot,” according to The Associated Press.

The World Cup races in Aspen in three weeks are a giant slalom and a slalom, technical events in which Vonn doesn’t have as much recent success as the speed events of downhill and super-G.

Vonn, who hasn’t competed since December and had knee surgery in January, said in interviews in the summer and earlier in the fall that she hoped to return for speed events in Lake Louise, Alberta, a venue where she is very comfortable with a winning history.

“You know me, I never rule anything out until the last minute,” Vonn, who said she’s at 85 percent, told the AP. “At the same time, I need to also be more reserved than I was last year. I think Lake Louise is the perfect place for me to start. That’s still the plan.

“But you never know. Things could change if I start skiing incredibly fast. I can’t rule it completely out.”

If Vonn returns at Aspen instead, it would be the first time she would be in the same race with Mikaela Shiffrin since Jan. 27, 2013, when they both skied a slalom in Maribor, Slovenia.

Shiffrin is not expected to race at Lake Louise but hopes to enter at least one World Cup speed event later in the winter and at the World Championships in Colorado in February.

Vonn and Shiffrin have never shared a podium together.

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