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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