Lindsey Vonn begins World Cup title defense this weekend in Soelden

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on October 19, 2009 12:16 pm

After a bit of nervousness that opening day would look a little like 2006, FIS confirmed everything is a go for Saturday and the start of the World Cup opener in Soelden, Austria.  The woman race GS (giant slalom) on Saturday.  It’s also GS for the men on Sunday.

Lindsey Vonn now begins the long, grueling road of trying to three-peat.  Add to that, a “minor” detour in February to Vancouver.

“She’s on a mission, but it’s one day at a time. She knows it. While she’s excited for sure about the Olympics, there’s a lot before that. And that is all important stuff,” U.S. women’s head coach Jim Tracy told the AP.

Vonn, now the face of American ski racing, will have to battle new found stardom, a switch in equipment, and the increased pressure from expectations

Leading up to Saturday’s race, weather and snow in Soelden have been a concern.  Sunday’s training was cancelled because of heavy fog.  The unexpected off-day was nice for Vonn, as she celebrated her 25th birthday.  The owner of the hotel brought the cake and her teammates joined in celebration.
 
Snow conditions are still iffy, but after the cancellation of the 2006 race, the Austrian resort has significantly upgraded its snowmaking capabilities.  Temperatures should remain cold before race day, ensuring a solid track.
photo courtesy of Jack Affleck
Saturday’s GS is the first step in what promises to be an exciting year for Vail’s Lindsey Vonn.   She has already achieved some very historical feats, but this Oympic and World Cup year is a chance for her to take women’s ski racing to heights never seen before.  Hop on the Lindsey Vonn bandwagon, it’s going to be a fun ride.

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