Winter Olympics women’s downhill skiing: Lindsey Vonn goes for gold – live! | Sport
On Saturday, Lindsey Vonn will return to the Olympic stage for the first time since she won downhill gold in Vancouver eight years ago and carved out a place in US sports history, becoming the first American woman to win alpine skiing’s marquee event at the Games. The intervening years have looked more like a moguls course than a smooth ski slope for the 33-year-old, who has dealt with plenty of bumps on her way back to the Olympics. Yet she remains a risk-taker, continuously willing to put everything on the line for what she loves and what she believes in, an audacity that just could lead her back to the top of the Olympic podium.
A series of right knee injuries and two subsequent surgeries sidelined Vonn ahead of the Sochi Games and prevented her from defending her downhill title four years ago. While ailments and age have forced Vonn to adjust her training – she limits her time on the mountain and places greater emphasis on warming up to protect her body from further wear and tear – the looming threat of injury hasn’t caused her to adopt more cautious race tactics.
“I think that’s what has allowed me to have so much success in my career, the fact that I’m willing to risk everything every time I’m in the starting gate, but it’s also been the reason I’ve crashed so many times” she told the Guardian last month. “We’re going so fast and we’re pushing the limits all the time. Things can go wrong and you get injured, but I feel like that’s just part of the job description. When I’m in the starting gate I want to win, and I’m going to put it on the line. If I crash, so be it, but at least I’ve given 110%.”