“The overall title is one of the biggest things you can win in our sport. I always try to give my best everyday, but it’s a long season”.
The words of Lindsey Vonn, winningest U.S. alpine ski racer in history. Fans of ski racing who let mainstream media dictate what’s important would assume that no honor is as prestigious as an Olympic gold medal. In fact, the Olympics are but a mere radar blip in the spectrum of ski season. The World Cup lasts from October to March, and the winner of that trophy is truly considered the gold medalist for the year.
The Olympics are 2 weeks in a five-month long season. Far too short a time to determine a stellar talent–too much can go wrong. For instance, Ted Ligety may not have made headlines during the Vancouver Games, however he just captured the World Cup title in Giant Slalom for the second time in three years. Huge.
No doubt Lindsey Vonn is over the moon about successes at both the Olympics and the World Cup, however the World Cup victory cements her place in ski racing history while Olympic victories cemented her place on the Wheaties box and her lineup on late night talk shows.
This marks Lindsey’s third consecutive overall World Cup title. No one has done that since Austria’s Petra Kronberger from 1990-1992. Her 11 World Cup wins this season put her behind only Annemarie Moser-Proell (also from Austria) for highest number of wins in a single season. Moser-Proell won 14 in 1988-1989 and won 62 races in her career (Lindsey has won 33).
This past weekend wrapped up the World Cup circuit and saw Lindsey take not only the overall title, but also the downhill, super-G and combined titles. She took three of the five disciplines. Folks, that’s sheer dominance right there. As Lindsey heads into the off season, there’s little left on her to-do list. The only thing she has left to do is to continue to write the ski racing history books.