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.”
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).
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