Vail’s Lindsey Vonn, the greatest female ski racer of all time, will return to World Cup ski racing action this weekend in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, the U.S. Ski Team announced on Wednesday.
Vonn, 32, has yet to race this season while recovering from a broken arm suffered in training at Copper Mountain this fall. She has been training recently on snow in Vail.
The Ski and Snowboard Club Vail product is the all-time record holder for the most victories ever by a female ski racer with 76 wins.
She will try to get her 77th win in a downhill race at Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, while Eagle-Vail ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin will also be competing there, seeking her 28th win in a super combined race that takes the results from a downhill and a slalom.
Shiffrin, 21, is tied for 11th on the all-time victory list, and together the two Vail Valley racers own an extraordinary 103 World Cup wins.
Shiffrin on Tuesday night rebounded from a shaky first run in a night slalom in Flachau, Austria, to tie for third, building her overall lead over Switzerland’s Lara Gut to 365 points. However, many of the remaining World Cup races are speed events, where Gut has earned 320 points in downhill and super-G. Shiffrin has just 33 points earned in speed events.
Shiffrin is trying to join Vonn (American record four) and Tamara McKinney (one title) as the only American women to win the prestigious overall World Cup globe. Here are the press releases from the U.S. Ski Team on Vonn’s return and Shiffrin’s third-place in Flachau:
Vonn returns to World Cup this weekend
ALTENMARKT-ZAUCHENSEE, Austria (Jan. 11, 2017) – Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) plans to return to the Audi FIS Ski World Cup circuit this weekend, racing in the Altenmarkt-Zauchensee downhill. Vonn has been recovering from a fracture in her upper right arm, which she suffered after a training crash at Copper Mountain, CO in November. She has been out of the World Cup circuit since February, when she fractured her left tibial plateau while racing in Soldeu-El Tarter, Andorra.
“Words cannot describe how excited I am to be returning to the slopes this week,” Vonn told Eurosport. “It’s been a tough three months with over 300 hours of rehabilitation but being able to go fast and compete again makes all of the hard work with it.”
Altenmarkt-Zauchensee is a special place to Vonn, who tied the World Cup downhill win record in front of Annemarie Moser-Proell last season.
“I’m so excited to be racing this weekend!!!” https://t.co/3GWPfVMHtF
— lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) January 11, 2017
Shiffrin ties for third in Flachau
FLACHAU, Austria (Jan. 10, 2017) – Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) rebounded from a disappointing first run to land on the podium in a tie for third Tuesday night under the lights at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom.
Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter, the defending World Cup slalom champion, won her first slalom of the season by 0.58 over Norway’s Nina Loeseth in second, while Shiffrin and Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener tied for third, 0.78 back.
“I just didn’t ski fast, and that’s pretty much it,” Shiffrin said after her first run. “There are a lot of things … it’s easy to lose that kind of time if you ski a couple of turns a little bit tentative. So I have to try harder.”
With an angry look of determination in her eyes, Shiffrin blazed the second run, posting the fastest time to move atop the leaderboard. However, her first run deficit was just too much to overcome to reach the top step of the podium.
“The second run, I definitely went for it,” Shiffrin said. “I’m happy to be on the podium with that, but I have to say congratulations to Frida. I’m really happy for her. She skied amazing and it was really fun to watch.”
Aside from the Stockholm, Sweden, City Event Jan. 31, Flachau was the final traditional World Cup slalom event prior to next month’s World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland. So now Shiffrin has her eyes on this weekend’s World Cup super combined (super G and slalom) in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria to fine-tune her form.
“I think that I want to go to (Altenmarkt-Zauchensee) anyway since it’s a super combined and I’ll be training slalom for that,” she said. “After the first run today, I want to get back in slalom gates and try to get my feeling back.”
Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) also struggled in her first run, finishing 20th. She rebounded in her second run, grabbing the 10th fastest second run to finish 15th overall. Lila Lapanja (Truckee, CA), Megan McJames (Park City, UT) and Keely Cashman (Strawberry, CA) did not qualify for the second run.
Up next, the women’s compete in downhill Saturday and super combined Sunday in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria. Both events will be live on NBCSports.com.
I just didn’t ski fast, and that’s pretty much it. It’s easy to lose that kind of time if you ski a couple of turns a little bit tentative. So I have to try harder.
The second run, I definitely went for it. I’m happy to be on the podium with that, but I have to say congratulations to Frida. I’m really happy for her. She skied amazing and it was really fun to watch.
[On competing in this weekend’s alpine combined event]
I think that I want to go to (Altenmarkt-Zauchensee) anyway since it’s a super combined and I’ll be training slalom for that … and we have quite a bit of time before the next slalom. After the first run today, I want to get back in slalom gates and try to get my feeling back.