Another great weekend for Lindsey Vonn at Zauchensee

Vail’s Lindsey Vonn surely enjoyed one of her most exciting and rewarding weekends of ski racing at Zauchensee, in Austria, celebrating her first victories of the New Year.

She first won the two-run-downhill and the following Super-G race afterwards – improving her own all-time-record for women to 73 victories in total. She had already won two competitions there – a combined in 2009 and a downhill in 2011. She reached the podium nine times there since January 2007.

The four-time overall World Cup champion was particularly thrilled to share her joy capturing her 36th downhill race with Austria’s skiing legend Annemarie Moser-Proell, who had established that record during her fabulous career from 1969 to 1980! The former champion, now 62, watched her winning runs from the finish area and warmly congratulated her on the winner’s podium afterwards. “She races with great power, she seems to be moving on tracks as a train,” Moser-Proell commented afterwards.

“It surely means a lot to me to have achieved that performance here in front of Annemarie who is such a legend – to be tied with her in downhill is incredible,” Lindsey Vonn told the press. “I’m very pleased to start the New Year so well after my short break at home,” the 31-year-old American added.

“I had a lot of confidence after Lake Louise and then in Val d’Isère, I felt like I just kind of lost my confidence a little bit after going out in the downhill, so I went home. I had a good break and now I’m energized again. I feel really good mentally and physically, and I think that showed in this weekend’s racing. Hopefully, I can just continue on in this direction, keep the momentum going and hopefully, keep winning.”

A veteran of already fifteen World Cup seasons, Lindsey Vonn perfectly knows now what it needs to be consistently successful and battle for another big crystal globe – it would be her fifth since 2008! “I’m not focused on the overall right now,” she also said after her Super-G win.

“It’s, you know, too early in the season. I’m just focused on winning. I want to win as many races as I can, and I think if I can do that it’ll put me in a good position for the overall title. The key is to remain as concentrated as possible before each race. The season is still pretty long.”

The all-time victory record of Sweden’s skiing legend Ingermar Stenmark, who amassed 86 wins from 1974 to 1989 seems in reach now for Lindsey Vonn who plans to keep on racing until the 2018 Olympics in Korea.

“It would be amazing, but it’s still far away for the moment, it will need much hard work and some luck too in order to get close to that mark,” Vonn said some time ago.

For the moment, the US leader just aims to enjoy another great season and ski each time as fast as possible when it matters. At Zauchensee, she also told the press how she is feeling about herself and what helps her remaining a very determined and competitive athlete on snow.

“I’m surely stronger in my mind than before. I have the feeling to ski as well as in my excellent 2011/12 season,” she explained. “I’m for sure older and smarter than a few years ago. Nowadays I’m definitely the smartest ski racer I have ever been – and certainly this makes me stronger. I’m very pleased with my actual form and my attitude. I just hope to remain at that level for a while! “

Lindsey’s positive attitude and her willpower strongly helped her to overcome her grueling crash at Schladming in February 2013 and return at the very top following a series of serious injuries that cost her so much time.

“These injuries were terrible and have changed a lot for me, but I also learned a lot during those tough moments,” she recalls. “I’m pretty proud of my comeback and all what I could achieve afterwards even though I surely lost much time and opportunities to set new best marks. It was particularly hard to skip the 2014 Olympics! I can’t say if all of this has been positive or negative – I’m now here and keep on fighting. I became stronger.”

“I don’t really know exactly why I have been so fast here, I don’t think I’m so much ahead of the other racers,” she explained. “For sure I am trying very hard to give my best in each race but I also get the support of a group of great experts. It may be the main reason. My serviceman Heinz Haemmerle prepares me incredibly fast skis, and I can always count on the precise advises of the US coaches, Chris Knight and also Robert Trenkwalder from Red Bull. It’s not so easy to win each given day. Thanks God, I can count on a group of great people around me.”

“I still aim to improve my level. Sometimes, I don’t ski clean enough but fortunately I’m very strong in my head for the moment. There are no perfect runs in ski racing. When you’re fast, you always make mistakes. I just try hard to make less mistakes than the other racers.”

Next weekend, Lindsey is aiming for another good result in the next giant slalom scheduled in the ‘Hermann Maier’ course at Flachau. “I never raced a giant slalom there, it’s nice that we have some races there now.”



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