GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany — The buildup to the last World Cup downhill races before the PyeongChang Olympics was just as rough as Lindsey Vonn’s up-and-down season.

After bad weather canceled two days of training, Vonn won a shortened downhill race Saturday, raising her career total to 80 World Cup victories.

The American standout beat Sofia Goggia of Italy by two-hundredths of a second as their ongoing rivalry in Alpine skiing’s fastest discipline continued.

“It’s a big number,” Vonn said of her 80 wins, just six short of the all-time record for men or women set by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark in the 1980s.

“I remember when I got my 50th here, I never thought I would even get close to Annemarie Moser-Proell’s record (of 62 wins), and now I am getting close to Stenmark’s. It’s incredible,” she said.

“Also the timing of this win, coming into the Olympics, I really feel strong mentally and physically.”


Vonn skied a solid run but didn’t seem to go to the limits; she trailed Goggia by 0.08 at the last split time. But Vonn overcame the deficit in the final section.

“I definitely skied aggressively, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t leave all the cards on the table,” Vonn said. “I hold those extra aces for the Olympics.”

It was the second straight downhill win for Vonn, who was victorious two weeks ago in Cortina, Italy. Vonn and Goggia are the only racers with more than one downhill victory this season.

Safety has been a main priority for Vonn approaching the Olympics, with the Feb. 17 super-G and the Feb. 21 downhill in South Korea less than three weeks away.

“In general, my confidence is high, my body feels relatively good,” Vonn said. “I am just not thinking about injuries. As long as my confidence is good and I am able to ski the way I want to, which I am, then I’m not concerned.”

Vonn badly damaged her right knee skiing in a patch of soft snow at the world championships in 2013, and the 2010 Olympic downhill champion missed the 2014 Sochi Games.


Vonn has one more tuneup race Sunday over the full 1.8-mile Kandahar course.

She seems to be finding her form at the right time. Apart from winning a super-G in December, the first three months of her World Cup season were rather disappointing, marred by two crashes in Lake Louise, Alberta, a jarred back in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and a recurrent knee issue in Val d’Isere, France.

“My season started off poorly mainly just because of the first crash in Lake Louise,” Vonn said. “If I hadn’t crashed, I most likely would have won that race, and that would have set my season off on a completely different path.”

Vonn said it took her some time “to get my body back in working order,” but she’s happy with her recent results.

So is her coach.

“Right now we’re on track, we are progressing,” said Alex Hoedlmoser. “She had that massive crash in Lake Louise in the first race. That obviously kind of shook her up a little bit.


“We always have to be careful with the load of training. We are not doing too much so her knee is not responding too much. But I think we are still on target to go to the Olympics and win gold there.”

Vonn couldn’t agree more.

“For me, I am happy with the way things are right now,” she said. “It’s building up exactly as I’d hoped with my confidence, with my skiing. Everything is really peaking for the Olympics, which is exactly what you want.”

THE INTERNATIONAL Olympic Committee said it will review the cases of 15 Russian athletes ahead of the Games in light of a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The CAS ruling Thursday overturned the doping bans on 28 Russian athletes, citing insufficient evidence. Russia said it wants to send 15 of the 28 to South Korea.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.