Despite sustaining a season-ending injury, Lindsey Vonn still managed to win the 2013 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup downhill title. Ironically, no athletes were able to compete in the final downhill event, due to heavy fog which diminished visibility on the course. The title marks a record 17th career globe for the skier, and a record sixth consecutive downhill title. Tina Maze of Slovenia followed in second place, with Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch. American Teammate Stacey Cook finished out the season 4th in the downhill discipline.
Vonn spoke state-side about winning this year’s downhill title, saying, “It is always an honor to win a title, even if I wish I had done it by competing alongside my teammates over the past month. I hope they will bring home many more titles this season. This only fuels me to work even harder to get back out on the mountain as soon as I can.”
Over the course of the 2012/2013 World Cup Tour, Vonn topped the podium at three of the season’s seven downhill events. She only ended up missing two events after ending the season early thanks to a crash during a super G race. Once again, Lindsey Vonn has shown that she is in a class all of her own. The star athlete is the only person of either gender to win six consecutive downhill titles in the history of skiing. With her 17th career globe, Vonn also surpassed Annmarie Moser-Proell’s record of 16. Ingemar Stenmark is the only other athlete with more globes, with 19 to his name.
The U.S. Ski Team also solidified their position at the top of the downhill standings, finishing the season 457 points over the Swiss Team. In all, the U.S. women stood atop nine podiums this season. Vonn saw two wins in Lake Louise and one in Cortina. Alice McKennis earned gold at St. Anton. Stacey Cook earned two second place finishes in Lake Louise. Leanne Smith took second in Val d’Isere and a third place podium finish in Cortina. Laurenne Ross earned a second place finish in Garmisch.
Stacey Cook expressed her disappointment in the final downhill’s cancellation, saying, “It’s pretty anti-climatic. Normally finals are so fun and such a good atmosphere, especially here with how many people show up to watch. It’s not the way you want to end, but I’m psyched to be ranked where I am and to keep getting better year-by-year. It’s kind of bittersweet because I know I let a few things slip this year. I had mistakes in seven of my eight downhill runs and so that’s something that is driving me going forward. But to be ranked fourth even with all those mistakes is pretty sweet and I’m psyched that the globe stays in our country.”
FINAL WOMEN’S DOWNHILL STANDINGS