Lindsey Vonn targets Olympic gold, Ingemar Stenmark’s World Cup record

Story highlights

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

CNN  — 

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.

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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.

READ: Why Lindsey Vonn wants to race the men

Overcoming injuries

“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.”

Vonn competing in Cortina D'Ampezzo in 2015.

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.”

ASPEN, CO - MARCH 19:  Mikaela Shiffrin of United States celebrates with the globes for being awarded the overall season ladies' champion and lasies' season slalom champion at the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals at Aspen Mountain on March 19, 2017 in Aspen, Colorado.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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READ: Vonn on “the hardest recovery of my career”

Less pressure

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.”