Elite skier Lindsey Vonn went full on at today’s Schladming downhill to win her 53rd Audi FIS Alpine World Cup. The victory continues Vonn’s amazing season, putting her at 1,908 overall points. She is now even closer to topping the coveted single season point record of 2,000 held by Austrian Hermann Maier, which has stood for the past 12 years. Once the race concluded, Vonn was awarded her fifth consecutive World Cup downhill crystal globe. She of course had this wrapped up tight during last month’s downhill event in Sochi, Russia – the site of the 2014 Olympics.
Nobody is enjoying themselves more during this season’s Audi FIS World Cup circuit than Vonn.
“I am having so much fun out there and I am hanging out with the girls on the team and I am just more relaxed this year and I have really enjoyed everything. I have enjoyed every day, not just podiums and not just winning – of course it’s nice – but just being able to do what I love is the best. Just going out there and doing what you love to do everyday is a privilege.”
Vonn recorded her 17th podium of the World Cup season, one short of the single-season record of 18 held by Hanni Wenzel of Lichtenstein and Swede Pernilla Wiberg. Croatia’s Janica Kostelic who earned 1,970 points back in the 2006 season holds the current single season record for women. There is little doubt that Vonn will secure the women’s record, its just a question of whether she will usurp the mens’ record as well.
Fellow teammates Julia Mancuso skied strong to finish in sixth, Alice McKennis earned a career best seventh and Laurenne Ross came followed in 15th. Thanks to an amazing team effort with notable contributions from Stacey Cook and Leanne Smith the U.S. Women’s team won the nation’s downhill standings by 636 points over Austria.
Lindsey spoke to the great team dynamic the women have enjoyed this season, saying, “I have such great teammates and such great coaches and I feel like we are all working so hard together. Being able to ski and do what I love is amazing but having the support of the team and everyone has been even more amazing.”
The World Cup Finals continue Thursday with women’s super G. Vonn, Mancuso and Smith will start for the U.S. Ski Team. Vonn currently leads the super G standings by 94 points. A title win would be the 16th of her career!
“Today was a big step and, if all goes perfectly well, hopefully tomorrow I can win again and try to close this record and reach a dream I didn’t even think was possible,” said Vonn.
Universal Sports will air the race at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. ET
Photography by: Mitch Gunn - www.sportsphotographer.eu