Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Lindsey Vonn scatters grandfather's ashes near downhill course at Winter Olympics

The Norwegian trio on their way to pursuit gold The Norwegian trio on their way to pursuit gold
Lora Ball | 24 February, 2018, 21:14

Her two career gold medals are already the most that any American alpine skier has ever won, and her three overall medals in two Olympic performance match Vonn and trail only Julia Mancuso and Bode Miller with four. She recorded the fastest time in the downhill, the first of the two events of the Super Combined, at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre on Thursday. Vonn's 0.74 second lead on Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel was notable; the difference between Mowinckel - who bested Vonn for the silver medal in the downhill only one day prior - and fourth-place Ramona Siebenhoffer of Austria was only 0.23.

But then came Holdener's team-mate Gisin , who ripped down a near-faultless run to leapfrog Shiffrin by nearly a second. With the sun darting in and out and a light snow falling for the slalom, the artificial lights lining the course were switched on.

Vail's Vonn is by far the most accomplished woman to ever strap on a pair of skis, but when the second leg of the combined event - the slalom - finally arrived later on Thursday, it was clear that the Olympic torch had been passed from one Colorado athlete to another. "I miss home", said the 24-year-old Gisin, who won in a combined time of 2 minutes, 20.90 seconds. But lately, the slalom has been baffling Gisin.

"Clearly", said Shiffrin's coach, Mike Day, "the downhill didn't go quite to plan".

Her two-run combined time of 2:20.90 was almost a second better than Shiffrin, the pre-race favorite who seemed both happy and relieved to have earned a silver medal.

"It's really nice to be at the end of it", she said, "and know that I do have two medals". She won Olympic gold in the giant slalom a week ago and captured the slalom title at the 2014 Sochi Games.

"It's like being a great butterflier, being a great breaststroker, being a great freestyler and being a great backstroker", Day said.

While some might judge her on the amount of Olympic medals she has to her name, Vonn has her sights set on something larger.

"She's over 10 years younger than I am, never been through any injuries and has a totally different perspective on life than I do", the four-time overall World Cup champion Vonn said of the natural successor to her alpine ski crown.

The Olympics have always presented their own unique tests for American skier Lindsey Vonn. After the race, they briefly hugged at the finish.

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"It's frustrating because in my mind I know what I'm capable of and my body doesn't follow", she added.

Shiffrin has emerged as the next star of the U.S. Alpine skiing team but the 22-year-old dismissed the idea she is taking over from Vonn.

"Basically, for the last three weeks, I haven't even gone on [social media] until yesterday after winning the silver", she said.

Minnesota-born Vonn needs six more World Cup wins to beat Ingemar Stenmark's record of 86 victories and become the most successful skier of all-time.

"I'm like, "Knowing Lindsey, I don't believe her", Shiffrin told a news conference on Friday.

"I wish I could be pulling off the slalom turns she's doing right now, because I used to be able to do that".

Neither can possibly know what the future will bring, of course.

Lindsey Vonn stands next to members of the Yongsan Club.

"There's a lot of things I have to learn in speed still..."

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