Déjà vu for Lindsey Vonn in Olympic test event super-G

Leave a comment

Lindsey Vonn came to the 2018 Olympic venue and just missed victories on two straight days, by .07 on Saturday and then .04 in a super-G on Sunday.

Italian Sofia Goggia bumped Vonn to second both days, picking up the first two World Cup wins of her career in Jeongseon, South Korea.

Vonn’s performances this week certainly bode well for what should be her fourth and final Olympics next year. She came to South Korea on Tuesday still recovering from a race crash the previous Saturday, plus food poisoning last week.

Vonn overcame it to post the fastest downhill training runs Thursday and Friday before her back-to-back podium finishes in the official races.

She also made a hefty improvement in super-G. Before Sunday, Vonn’s best super-G finish was ninth in four races since returning from crash-caused knee and arm fractures in January.

“I’m really happy with my performance [Sunday], you know I struggled this season in super-G, so this is my best result by a lot,” Vonn said on NBCSN. “But still definitely frustrated by getting second place. … But, you know, I’ve learned to be patient in ski racing. I’ve lost many races by a few hundredths. I hope that the time will come back around next year for the Olympics.”

Full Results | Race Replay

After two training runs, Vonn said her confidence level on the South Korean track was similar to how she feels at her favorite venue of Lake Louise, Alberta.

Vonn has won 18 times in 41 World Cup starts at Lake Louise, a record number for any racer (male or female) at one place in history.

“The main point of this weekend is that I’m really confident on this hill,” said Vonn, who was also second in the Olympic test event downhill for the 2010 Winter Games in Whistler, B.C. “It suits my skiing really well. I know what I can do to be faster.”

Vonn remains on 77 career World Cup wins, nine shy of the record held by retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark. If Vonn stays healthy (no sure thing) and wins at her usual rate, she could break the record next season. Vonn owns one victory in 12 races across all disciplines since returning to racing in January from her latest injuries.

World Cup overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin skipped the South Korean speed races to prepare for next week’s giant slalom and slalom in Squaw Valley, Calif.

Shiffrin leads by 178 points over Slovenian Ilka Stuhec with six races left this season. Only a complete collapse would prevent Shiffrin from becoming the third U.S. woman to take the World Cup overall title (Tamara McKinney, Vonn).

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Vonn among Olympic medalists in documentary about gender in sports

U.S. Olympic, USA Gymnastics leaders set for another Senate hearing

AP
Leave a comment

Recently replaced U.S. Olympic Committee acting CEO Susanne Lyons, USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry and Michigan State interim president John Engler are scheduled witnesses for a Senate subcommittee hearing next Tuesday on reforms following the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes.

The hearing is titled, “Strengthening and Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes: Moving Forward with Solutions” and will stream live at https://www.commerce.senate.gov/ on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

“The hearing will focus on changes made by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics (USAG), and Michigan State University (MSU) to protect Olympic and amateur athletes from abuse,” according to the subcommittee’s website. “It will examine recent reforms to provide safe environments for athletes and how these reforms are being implemented.”

The subcommittee held hearings April 18 and June 5 with testimonies from gymnasts and other athletes who were abused, former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon and former senior vice president of USA Gymnastics Rhonda Faehn. Former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny also attended the June 5 hearing but refused to answer questions.

Lyons and Perry were questioned at a House subcommittee hearing May 23.

The USOC last Thursday named Sarah Hirshland its new CEO, replacing Lyons, who had been in the role on an interim basis since Scott Blackmun resigned in February. Blackmun, who had been CEO since January 2010, left citing prostate cancer and the USOC’s need to immediately address the USA Gymnastics sexual-abuse scandal.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: USOC names first permanent female CEO

Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course with epic comeback (video)

AP
Leave a comment

Annemiek van Vleuten, the cyclist who returned from a horrific Rio Olympic road race crash to become world champion, repeated as La Course winner with an epic last-kilometer comeback on Tuesday.

Van Vleuten sprinted from several seconds behind countrywoman Anna van der Breggen to win the one-day race, including four categorized climbs, contested on part of the Tour de France stage 10 course later that day.

“With 300 meters to go, I still thought I got second, and then I saw her dying,” Van Vleuten said, adding later, according to Cyclingnews.com, “With 500 meters to go my team director in the car gave up and stopped cheering for me.”

In Rio, van Vleuten suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped over into a ditch during the road race. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course.

She was eventually hospitalized in intensive care.

Van der Breggen went on to win the Olympic title, while van Vleuten returned quick enough to race at the October 2016 World Championships.

Van Vleuten, 35, won her first world title 13 months after the Rio Games, taking the time trial crown ahead of van der Breggen by 12 seconds. She also won the 10-stage Giro Rosa that concluded on Sunday.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

TOUR DE FRANCE: StandingsTV Schedule | Riders to Watch