American Lindsey Vonn Wins World Championship Downhill

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 9, 2009 6:45 am

Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) just can’t be beat. She handily won the gold medal in the super G event, at the 2009 FIS World Championships in Val d’Isere just days ago, and today, she scooped up another win in the women’s downhill. In spite of the technically difficult, steep, icy course, Vonn clocked in at 1:30.31, about half a second ahead of 17-year-old Swiss newcomer, Lara Gut. Vonn’s World Championship downhill win is the first since Hilary Lindh claimed the title in 1997. She is also now only the second American woman to notch two World Championship gold medals. Andrea Mead Lawrence won two in 1952 at Oslo, Norway, when World Championships were also the Olympics.

Lake Louise World Cup downhill silver medalist (second to Vonn), Nadia Fanchini, of Italy collected the bronze. American Stacey Cook (Mammoth, CA) nabbed one of her best finishes on the world stage, grabbing ninth.

The women’s World Championship downhill carried its own share of drama this year, as it was set to run yesterday. However an impromptu snowstorm threw off the schedule, and the event was originally postponed, and set to start in the afternoon. The athletes returned to the hill for a three o’ clock start, only to learn that the event would be postponed again.

In a live television interview with NBC’s Steve Porino, Vonn was upbeat and relaxed, noting that she was “…the one to beat.” And today, she held to her word.

Listen to an audio interview from the finish line and from Vonn’s press conference:


photo: U.S. Ski Team/ Doug Haney