Perhaps no one is antsier to race at this point in the season than Lindsey Vonn. Planning to make her competitive debut this weekend in St. Anton, Austria after sitting out the first part of the season with a knee injury, Vonn’s plans were pushed back due to weather-related cancellations.
She’s now expected to compete in her first event of the season on Friday, January 18, in a downhill race in Italy, which was added to the schedule to replace the cancelled one in St. Anton. Vonn, 34, is planning to compete in another downhill on Saturday, January 19, and the super-G on Sunday.
A three-time Olympic medalist and the most decorated woman on the World Cup circuit, Vonn is still eyeing Swedish skier Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins (she currently has 82), though she has said this will be her final full competitive season, whether she surpasses Stenmark or not.
“Unfortunately, my body can’t take it anymore. I had too many surgeries,” Vonn told the AP. “It’s pretty painful to ski every day.
“I want to be able to ski with my kids one day, and I want to be able to be active and not be in pain all the time. I am in the last 50 meters of my marathon career and I am fighting my way until the end and I am not giving up. But at the same time, I know where the finish line is, and that is Lake Louise next year.”
Vonn missed the World Cup at Lake Louise, her favorite venue, earlier this season after injuring her knee in November. The Alberta ski resort named its downhill run Lake Lindsey Way in honor of Vonn, who has had more victories at Lake Louise than anywhere else (18 of her 82 World Cup wins). The women’s speed races in Lake Louise next season are scheduled for early December.