Not Even Broken Bones Can Slow Down Lindsey Vonn
28 Feb, 2016
Lindsey Vonn set the fastest time in the first run of a women’s World Cup combined event in Andorra, one day after fracturing her left knee in a super-G crash. After her run, she posted a tweet saying: “no one can ever call me a wimp”.
Wearing braces on both knees, the American’s run of 57.04sec in the super-G on the Aliga course put her in the lead ahead of her American team-mate Laurenne Ross and Sweden’s Kajsa Kling, who both came 0.26sec behind.
Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia was 0.41sec back in fourth, while Lara Gut of Switzerland was fifth and had 0.43sec to make up in the slalom run later on Sunday.
Vonn leads Gut by eight points in the overall standings, while the Swiss skier won the only previous combined event this season and tops the discipline standings.
Organisers had pushed the start of the event back by 90 minutes to allow fresh snow to be moved off the course.
Winds and snowfall had also forced a three-hour delay in Saturday’s race, in which Vonn crashed after catching a spot of soft snow. Vonn later said she had sustained a hairline fracture and was set to have an MRI scan on Monday.
Hours before Sunday’s race, Vonn said on her Facebook page: “Drained my knee a few times and it’s feeling a little better. Going to go up on the hill and see how it feels.”
Vonn decided to start after inspecting the course and skiing a few turns. She trailed the leader Ross by 0.36sec halfway down the course but a strong finish put her ahead of her team-mate. Vonn screamed for joy after finishing, holding both arms and ski poles up in the air while waving to the spectators.
Vonn’s American team-mate Mikaela Shiffrin had 1.93sec to make up in the slalom, her strongest discipline. The Olympic slalom champion is competing in her first ever combined event. Federica Brignone of Italy, who won Saturday’s race for her first career victory in a speed event, trailed Vonn by 0.55sec.
Marie-Michele Gagnon of Canada won the combined event on Sunday, and Vonn eventually finished 13th after setting only the 23rd time in the slalom run to finish 1.93sec behind Gagnon.
Vonn’s main rival for the overall title, Lara Gut of Switzerland, straddled a gate in the slalom and failed to score points. Vonn extended her lead to 28 points.
Gagnon led Wendy Holdener of Switzerland by 0.20sec, and Anne-Sophie Barthet of France by 0.61sec for her second career win.
Image Lindsey Vonn twitter
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