Lindsey Vonn won her 82nd World Cup race by six hundredths of a second and lost the downhill season title by three points at the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden, on Wednesday.
Vonn edged Olympic champion Sofia Goggia of Italy for her fourth straight World Cup downhill win.
American Alice McKennis took third, her first World Cup podium since her only previous World Cup podium on Jan. 12, 2013, when she won a downhill.
But Goggia, who helped relegate Vonn to downhill bronze in PyeongChang, took the crystal globe for the season title combining results from all eight World Cup downhills this season. Vonn needed one skier to finish between her and Goggia on Wednesday to pass the Italian in the standings.
“It reminds me of the days when [German] Maria [Hoefl-Riesch] and I were fighting for every single title every single year,” Vonn told media in Are (Vonn and the now-retired Hoefl-Riesch finished top three in the overall every year between 2008 and 2012; Hoefl-Riesch edged Vonn for the 2011 title by three points.). “Now, there’s a new face. Sofia’s a great character. She always gives it 110 percent. Sometimes she wins. Sometimes she crashes. I feel like it’s very similar to myself.”
Vonn was going for a ninth downhill crystal globe, which would break her shared record with retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark for the most season titles in one discipline.
Instead, Vonn appeared content with moving four shy of Stenmark’s record 86 World Cup wins. She screamed a TV camera in the finish area after skiing into the lead, knowing Goggia was in second place and still in position to keep Vonn from the crystal globe.
“My main goal for the remainder of my career is to beat Ingemar’s record,” Vonn, who plans to race at least one more season, repeated Wednesday. “I hope to do that before my knee gives out.”
If Vonn stays healthy and on her recent pace of wins per season, she will pass Stenmark in 2019.
“It’s been a very successful season, all things considered,” she said.
Vonn races for the last time this season in the super-G on Thursday at 5:30 a.m. ET on Olympic Channel and streaming on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers. Vonn is out of the running for the super-G season title, which will go to either Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein or Lara Gut of Switzerland.
Mikaela Shiffrin, already with the overall and slalom titles clinched, races in the slalom Saturday and giant slalom Sunday.
Later Wednesday, Swiss Beat Feuz clinched the men’s downhill season title with a third-place finish in Are, adding to his silver and bronze medals in PyeongChang. Matthias Mayer and Vincent Kriechmayr shared the race win, keeping Austria from going winless in World Cup downhills over a full season for the second time in three years.
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