A closer look: An amazing comeback for Lindsey Vonn at Lake Louise

Vail’s Lindsey Vonn certainly achieved one of her most amazing performances ever last weekend at Lake Louise where she celebrated her 60th World Cup victory in downhill – her 15th on site – after a very aggressive run down the ‘Olympic Course’ only a day after celebrating her comeback on the tour.

Ten years after her first ever World Cup win on the Canadian slope and 22 months after suffering an awful knee injury during her crash at Schladming, in Austria, in occasion of the Super-G of the 2013 FIS World Championships, Vonn lead the US Ski Team to its first-ever clean sweep on the World Cup tour a day after claiming a strong 8th place in her first World Cup race for a year.
“This is certainly one of my most emotional days ever, this victory means so much to me,” she told the press after having been strongly hugged by her dad Alan Kildow who watched her run from the finish area.
“Honestly a dream came true, it could not have been any better, it really was perfect to have my first win after my knee injuries and be on the podium with two of my teammates – it was really awesome,” she also said later on that day.
“I definitely made some good improvement from one day to the other, I am incredibly grateful for what everything what everyone has given to me and helped me going thru this had time, it really was a great day,” Vonn added.
The 2010 downhill Olympic champion won her first World Cup competition since January 2013 (her giant slalom triumph) at Maribor, in Slovenia, where she prevailed over the local hero Tina Maze.
“After my good performance from Friday, I was thinking that a podium was not far away, I thought that my skiing was really good yesterday, and made some really good improvements after the three training runs, but I was not 100% sure about having a chance for me to win a race here this weekend, I was not sure being ready yet as I haven’t had a lot of speed training, I had a short preparation period and I am just kind into building my way into in, every day it’s getting better, ” Lindsey also told the press. “I was not really expecting a win but I was definitely hoping for a podium.”
“I really feel great right now, I have no restriction on my knee, I don’t ice it every day, it doesn’t swell, it doesn’t hurt the only thing I need to do is to wear that brace under my racing suit when I ski or when I’m in the gym. This is really the only restriction I have at the moment.”
“There is not a lot of celebration planned this evening as I’m racing again tomorrow, I guess I’ll a glass of Champagne with my teammates and my dad prior to the prize giving ceremony, then I have to focus on another day. Then on Sunday, when I’ll get home I guess I’ll have an ice-cream with my dog, watch TV and that’s pretty much it for this weekend. It’s the perfect scenario.”
“I made some improvements from Friday. My skiing was there but I didn’t feel as aggressive as I normally am in a race. I saw that in the video so I made some adjustment at the second race, trying to stay in a lower tuck, being more aggressive, I put as much effort as I possibly could into it. I knew there were lots of small details upon which I could make some improvements to go faster today and I did that. I also didn’t know how the other competitors were going to ski and since many of them were really skiing well it was not so easy to win again as it used to be. It’s pretty tough. I was not sure to be super-fast today again. But at the end it was good enough and I was extremely happy to be on the podium with my two teammates. Our team has been skiing extremely well and I was proud to be part of it.”
“I definitely think that I shocked a few people around me today. Yesterday a lot of people were genuinely happy for me and they thought it was really a great start of the season for me, but I don’t think that anyone there expected me to win today. I could definitely see this on some of the faces of the girls. My teammates know me very well and knew it could be possible and they were really happy for me. Yet as I said earlier today, I don’t expect this to happen every time from now on, but it’s important to build up my confidence and motivates me for the coming races. I feel a lot better after the win today and I hope to keep the ball rolling and keep improving.”
“Regarding that record of 62 World Cup wins of Annemarie Moser-Proell, I think it’s more a topic for media, and everyone keeps on asking me about it… It surely is fine as it’s a huge milestone in women’s racing, but for me right now I’m just focusing on my skiing and improving. We have been talking a lot about it in past years, so I hope that we can stop talking about it and I hope it can happen if I keep on focusing on my skiing and improving. Then the wins would come…”
“Ideally it would be great having a few more wins going into the World Championships it would be nice having this off my shoulders by then and being able to fully focus on the World Championships afterwards and ski my heart out in front of my hometown crowd.”
” I don’t know Annemarie very well even though we spent some time together a few times now, but I can tell she is a very nice woman, very humble and down-to-earth. The most surprising about her was to find out how easy-going she was, she is very calm, it surprised me a lot, she is very very nice, we had a great conversation and had very nice things to say. She is a wonderful woman.”
“I have been thinking about racing next week at Are, but at that point I need to spend more time training speed, so after going back home to Colorado I’ll do some more speed training and then head over to Europe hopefully for the next downhill there, possibly at Val d’Isère.”
On the last day of racing at Lake Louise, Lindsey reached another podium in Super-G as she finished 2nd in the race won by Switzerland’s Lara Gut. It was a promising performance for the racer from Vail who needs more races to progressively approach her limits in that specialty.
“I was a solid day and a phenomenal weekend for me,” she told the press after the Canadian competition. “I felt like I was skiing aggressively and was pretty clean on the top, but my timing wasn’t quite right. I was late on some turns with my pressure. I carried pretty good speed on the flats, but my timing was off. For all my mistakes, I’m quite happy with second place,” the 30-year-old also said.
“I just need a little more training. I’m going back to Vail and training at Beaver Creek and hope to be back in Val d’Isere. I’m a solid podium skier right now, but just need to get my timing back.”

“I am so happy with my results this weekend. It was so much more than I had hoped for. I didn’t really know what to expect coming in and I kept making improvements every day. I think it was all around a perfect weekend and a perfect way to start the season,” the American star also said.

If the weather conditions improve in the coming days, Lindsey Vonn should fight for more good results on the ‘OK’ course at La Daille, near Val d’Isère, where she celebrated her maiden World Cup victory in Europe ten years ago. Last year, she could not get thru the downhill race there as she re-injured herself at the ligaments of her knee in the final part of her run.



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