Lindsey Vonn Wins Women’s Downhill World Championship

February 11, 2009 by  
Filed under features

Twenty-four-year-old American Lindsey Vonn already has a track list that outshines even most of the best skiers in the world. Her latest victories at the World Championships in Val d’Isere in France on Sunday seem to be just another feather in her cap as she continues with her highly successful skiing career.

So exactly what has Lindsey Vonn done so far that merits so much praise? Her rise to greatness began at the tender age of seventeen when she became a member of the Olympic team. Just two years later, at 19 years of age, she stepped up onto the World Cup podium for the first of forty times. By the time she was twenty she had her first World Cup victory – a feat she has since repeated 18 times. She also got a World Championship medal at 22 and won the World Cup overall title by 23. Now she can add World Championship gold to her list of accomplishments at just 24 years of age. Vonn took her latest victory after a near-perfect downhill run on Monday afternoon. When coupled with the super-giant slalom victory she had at the same location just one week earlier, the accomplishment made her the first US woman to win two titles in a stand-alone world meet. The last time anything remotely like this was accomplished was when Andrea Mead Lawrence won two titles at the 1952 Olympics back when the Winter Games were counted as the World Championships.

Vonn’s margin of victory at the Val d’ Isere World Championships was 0.52 of a second over Switzerland’s Lara Gut. It was the largest margin of victory since Picabo Street won by 0.57 of a second in 1996. Watching Lindsey Vonn in action, one can see she is disciplined, strategic and on-form. Her choice of line is tactically sound, her speed is incredible (around 85 mph) and her run is consistently good. No wonder she is one of the top female skiers in the world! However, it seems that when you take away the ice and snow, things can get a little hair-raising for her. Vonn sliced open her finger opening a bottle of champagne in celebration shortly after her victory. The cut required four stitches and is still bothering her. Hopefully it won’t affect her next few runs. Either way it is unlikely to affect her when she aims to take Olympic gold at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.