Lindsey Vonn won the Olympic downhill title in 2010
The American is nine wins shy of an all-time record
Vonn overcame a serious hand injury last year
It’s going to be a busy season for the world’s greatest female ski racer.
Not only is Lindsey Vonn trying to beat Ingemar Stenmark’s World Cup record of 86 victories, she’ll also be competing in an Olympic Games for the first time since she clinched the Olympic downhill title in Vancouver in 2010. She missed the 2014 Sochi Olympics because of injury.
2018 Winter Olympics
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“I am going to mainly focus on the Olympics this season and of course, I’ll try to win World Cups,” the 32-year-old American, the most successful woman in World Cup history with 77 victories, told CNN during an interview at the French Open in Paris in June.
The 2018 Winter Games start in Pyeongchang, South Korea Feb. 9-25 while the alpine World Cup season kicks off with the men’s and women’s giant slalom at the European training base of the US ski team in Soelden, Austria on Oct. 28-29.
“I’ve extended my career one more year to make sure I don’t put too much pressure on myself, I take really good care of myself,” said Vonn.
“Then after the Olympics, I can focus on Stenmark’s record because it is attainable as long as I stay healthy,” she said. “That’s my main focus: staying healthy, the Olympics and the record.”
Throughout her long and successful career, Vonn has had to cope with a number of serious injuries, including a broken arm sustained during a heavy crash last November that led to nerve damage in her right hand which required surgery and an extensive course of rehabilitation.
“Being injured has definitely made me realize that I am not ready to be done yet,” said Vonn. “It makes me not this tired because I’ve had a little bit of a break.”
Vonn feels less nervous about trying to catch Sweden’s Stenmark, who set his all-time mark between 1974 and 1989, than she did while she was chasing the women’s World Cup record held by Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria.
“There was more pressure trying to beat Annemarie’s record of 63 wins,” said Vonn, who beat the Austrian’s 35-year-old mark with a Super-G win in Cortina D’Ampezzo in 2015.
“And now that I am the greatest female, that takes a lot of the pressure off,” she said. “But Ingemar’s record is still something that I am chasing very heavily.”