Lindsey Vonn sees embarrassment, but not for her, in bid to race against men

Lindsey Vonn
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Lindsey Vonn said there are a lot of men that don’t want to see her entering a men’s World Cup race, one of her goals before retirement, in a wide-ranging “60 Minutes Sports” interview.

“I mean, I beat half of them when I train with them; they don’t want to be embarrassed,” Vonn said in an interview that aired Tuesday night. “I’m not going to beat all of them, I can assure you that, but I at least want a chance to see what my skiing is capable of against the best.”

Vonn has stuck to her goal of racing against men since 2012, but she’s yet to get the chance while also missing substantial time due to crash-related injuries the past four years. The International Ski Federation dismissed her request in November 2012, saying “that one gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other.”

Vonn is undeterred.

“The goal is definitely to make it to the next Olympics in South Korea in 2018, so that’s two more seasons, but I’m really hoping for three seasons, and I’ll tell you why,” Vonn said last spring. “It’s because, in my final season, I would like to race against the men in one race.”

Vonn also said in the “60 Minutes” interview that she still takes medication for depression.

“Sometimes it’s really hard,” she said. “I don’t want to get out of bed.”

But she has plenty of motivation to rehab the most painful injury of her career to get back to racing later this season.

“I lack self-confidence,” Vonn said. “Skiing is what makes me happy, and when I don’t ski, I have a hard time just being happy.

“I’m lonely. I’m really lonely. When I don’t have skiing, it’s hard.”

Vonn also discussed her life away from racing, including appearing in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and publishing a book in the offseason.

“I would prefer that people know me as being a skier, as being a very successful skier,” Vonn said. “Sometimes I feel like that line gets blurred, and I’m known for what I do outside of skiing.”

Such as dating Tiger Woods. Their nearly three-year relationship ended in spring 2015.

Even so, Vonn said she was “a little bit” surprised to not hear from Woods after breaking her right arm in a November training crash, which has kept her off snow for nearly two months.

“But I think he’s probably just focused on coming back,” Vonn said.

When Vonn does return to racing — she has said later this month, she hopes — eyes will be on her continued quest to break the World Cup career wins record of 86 held by Swede Ingemar Stenmark. Vonn, who averages about 10 wins per season when fully healthy, is at 76 wins.

“I can try to trick myself and pretend like it doesn’t mean everything to me, but it really does,” she said. “If I can break it, then I think that it solidifies me in the history of skiing. And that’s something that I want. I want people to remember my accomplishments, not that I was hurt all the time, but I won all the time.”

MORE: Vonn’s New Year’s resolution

Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic marathon champ in 1984, runs London Marathon at 65

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Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, ran her first 26.2-mile race in three years at Sunday’s London Marathon and won her age group.

Benoit Samuelson, 65, clocked 3 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds to top the women’s 65-69 age group by 7 minutes, 52 seconds. She took pleasure in being joined in the race by daughter Abby, who crossed in 2:58:19.

“She may have beaten me with my replacement knee, but everybody said I wouldn’t do it! I will never say never,” Benoit Samuelson said, according to race organizers. “I am a grandmother now to Charlotte, and it’s my goal to run 5K with her.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Benoit Samuelson raced the 1987 Boston Marathon while three months pregnant with Abby. Before that, she won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, plus the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

Her personal best — 2:21:21 — still holds up. She ranks sixth in U.S. women’s history.

Benoit Samuelson plans to race the Tokyo Marathon to complete her set of doing all six annual World Marathon Majors. The others are Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City.

“I’m happy to finish this race and make it to Tokyo, but I did it today on a wing and a prayer,” she said, according to organizers. “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

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