Last season Lindsey Vonn set a few goals: defend her Audi FIS Alpine World Cup titles and win an Olympic medal. “Any color would be just fine by me,” she said.
Fast forward to the end of the season, and it was a record breaking winter for Vonn. Now with the 2011 season opening less than a week from today, Vonn is making her goals clear; she wants to improve.
But what will that take?
Photo: Vonn with career fold of World Cup globes (Credit: Doug Haney/U.S. Ski Team)
Rewind to April and this picture. That’s Vonn with three straight overall globes, three downhill titles, two super G crowns and a brand new trophy for super combined. Two globes from 2008, three from 2009 and four from 2010, plus Olympic gold and bronze from Vancouver.
Yes, there’s a trend.
Here’s more. En route to her first World Cup overall title in ’08, she captured six wins. In 2009 it was nine and last season it was an American record (male and female) 11.
You could say she’s goal oriented, but she says it better.
“I try to improve every year. Two years ago I had nine wins, last year I had 11, so I want to improve.” That was Vonn talking to the Associated Press last Thursday while boarding a plane for Europe.
She also said, improving meant topping the international single season World Cup win record of 14 set by Swiss racer Vreni Schneider during the 1989 season. Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria, who holds the overall title record with six, and Anja Paerson of Sweden have also won 11 races in one season.
Is the goal attainable? Sure. but will it be easy? Vonn says not at all.
“There’s more competitors each year and every year everyone gets more motivated and keeps working harder,” she also told the AP. “It’s going to be a very tough winter but I’m looking forward to it. I look forward to bigger challenges and hopefully I can still defend my titles.”
The 2011 season, which is a World Championship year, opens next Saturday, Oct. 23 with a giant slalom on the Rettenbach Glacier in Soelden, Austria.
Trivia: What’s the only discipline Vonn has yet to capture a World Cup podium?
That would be giant slalom.