Ski star Lindsey Vonn: "I'm back to where I used to be"

Lindsey Vonn is all smiles after winning her second World Cup downhill of the new season in Val d'Isere

Story highlights

  • Victorious ski star Lindsey Vonn says: "I'm back to where I used to be."
  • The American clocks a dominant win at the World Cup downhill in Val d'Isere
  • Vonn injured her knee in the same event 12 months ago which end her Olympic defense
  • A 61st World Cup win for Vonn means she is now one win away from equaling all-time record

(CNN)What a difference a year makes.

American ski star Lindsey Vonn exorcised the ghosts of a grueling fight back from injury with victory on the slopes of Val d'Isere, Saturday.
    A year ago on the same snow, the 30-year-old aggravated a right knee injury, which ended her season and quashed her hopes of defending her downhill crown at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
    But Vonn -- who credits her golf star boyfriend Tiger Woods with inspiring her comeback -- underlined her return to form at the famous French ski resort with a dominant downhill World Cup win on the OK piste.
    "I already knew I could win here today," Vonn told reporters. "It was for other people to understand that I'm back to where I used to be.
    "It's a celebration for myself and for the team around me. After two tough years, I've waited a long time for this and I'm very happy.
    "It feels amazing. I was a bit nervous as I made some mistakes in training. I skied aggressively today."
    The victory in Val d'Isere was the 61st World Cup win of Vonn's career, which means she is just one win away from equaling the all-time record held by Annemarie Moser-Proell.
    Vonn, who had not won on the French piste in the last four years, has a chance to match the Austrian's feat in Sunday's super-G.
    She added: "61 is a difficult number and I'm looking forward to another chance tomorrow.
    "I'm very much looking forward to the rest of the season and having more opportunities to feel more comfortable with the speed and keep pushing myself."
    Vonn leads the downhill World Cup standings on 232 points ahead of joint Olympic downhill champion Tina Maze, who finished seventh.
    The American posted a photo on Instagram posing with her prize for her Val d'Isere victory -- a baby cow.
    "This is the best prize for winning a race EVER!! I have a new addition to my growing "Winnie" my one month old baby calf," she said.
    Vonn is continuing her steady comeback from an anterior cruciate ligament injury which threatened to end her career in 2013.
    She crashed heavily at the 2013 world championships and has since had reconstructive surgery on her right knee.