NPR News interviews Lindsey Vonn as she discusses her criticism of the Olympic ski courses

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 19, 2010 11:38 am

NPR News Interview with Lindsey Vonn

February 19, 2010

In an interview airing later today on NPR News’ All Things Considered, Lindsey Vonn criticizes the design and condition of the Olympic downhill course, telling host Melissa Block that the last jump should have been shaved down earlier. Vonn tells NPR News: “I kind of foresaw this problem, and I wished they would have taken it down earlier, but sometimes they just – they don’t want to do that.”

The interview will air tonight during All Things Considered (4PM ET on most NPR Member stations). More details are available at NPR’s news blog The Two-Way. An excerpt follows:

LINDSEY VONN: I think they could have done maybe a little bit better job of grooming the hill and making it smoother for the athletes. You know, it’s definitely challenging when you have a long course that’s so bumpy and then at the very end you have a monstrous jump. And I think that’s a little bit dangerous. But at the same time, you know it has been really tough with the weather, and I think they are trying as hard as they can to make good race conditions. You know I’m not there on the hill every night when they’re working and I have to give them a little bit of a break too, I know it’s not always easy. But it’s also tough for the athletes, obviously everyone’s – a lot of people have been crashing. Hopefully in the next couple days they’ll be able to smooth out the course a little bit more and have good conditions for the Super-G and the remaining two events.

NPR’s MELISSA BLOCK: That monstrous jump at the bottom you mentioned was the cause of a bunch of crashes including some of the top skiers like Anja Paerson during the downhill. They shaved that jump down for yesterday’s event. Do you think they should have done that sooner?

LINDSEY VONN: Yeah, I did honestly, I mean we only had one training run, but everyone knew after that training run that that jump was going to be huge. And, you know like I said, especially at the end of a long course, a bumpy course, everyone’s legs are really tired, and it’s really dangerous to have such a big jump at the end of such a long course. And you could see that with Anja [Paerson], you know, her legs just gave out and then went off the jump in a really bad position and crashed. I kind of foresaw this problem, and I wished they would have taken it down earlier, but sometimes they just – they don’t want to do that. So, I mean, as an athlete you can’t change the decisions of the people making the course. All you can do is ski your best on race day.