Vonn clinches downhill title with win in Whistler
February 22, 2008
WHISTLER, B.C. — Park City’s Lindsey Vonn became the first American
since fellow Parkite Picabo Street in 1996 to win the World Cup downhill
title Friday. She was second, just one-hundredth of a second away from
a record victory for her, on the 2010 Olympic trail. That was more
than enough to clinch the downhill championship with two races left.
Nadia Styger of Switzerland won in 1:45.30 with Vonn, surviving a big
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mistake on the bottom her run, to finish in 1:45.31. Park City Winter
Sports School alum Julia Mancuso finished third (1:45.49). To win the downhill title, Austrian Renate Goetschl needed to win all three remaining races and hope Vonn somehow never finished fourth or better; Goetschl was fifth Friday.
"It’s pretty cool. It’s crazy," Vonn said of the downhill title, which
achieves one of her main goals.
At age 11, she met Street at an autograph session in Minneapolis after
Street had won the 1995 downhill title "and she had this big crystal
globe (which goes to World Cup champions). That’s the only time I’ve seen a
big globe up close." Vonn will get her own downhill globe at the World Cup
Finals next month in Bormio, Italy.
Vonn also retook the lead in the overall points race. She and
Austrian Nicole Hosp were deadlocked at 983 but Vonn now has 1,066 while Hosp,
who was 15th, is at 999 with nine races left.
"Historically, it always comes down to the last couple of weeks (for
the overall) – unless I start winning every single speed race and the
(two) combineds," Vonn said. "I have to be really on my game in the speed
events because she’s gonna be in the top three in the technical events.
She said relaxing at home
in Park City last week re-energized her for the final weeks of the