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Vonn Wins, Ties Record for U.S. Victories
GARMISCH PARTENKIRCHEN, Reigning World Cup overall champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) put herself one win away from being the most successful female American ski racer Sunday as she won a super G at the Audi FIS World Cup in Garmisch. The win came just 48 hours before the same event in the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships that begin Tuesday in Val d'Isere, France.
"Today was an amazing day. It was a really difficult course, but Alex, my coach, set it and it was a great set. It was really challenging, icy and bumpy," Vonn said. "I just charged. I knew what line I needed to take in order to generate speed from top to bottom and I just executed my plan really well and had some fast skis on my feet and everything just seemed to work really well for me."
With the win, Vonn is now tied with American great Tamara McKinney for the most victories from a U.S. woman. Each has 18 World Cup wins. For Vonn, the idea of breaking the record holds a lot of honor.
"I am so excited about it. Tamara was an amazing racer. I honestly didn't think that I would be able to even get close to the number of wins that she's had in her career," Vonn said. "I feel very honored to be mentioned in the same sentence as Tamara because she's an amazing person and a great legend in ski racing."
The course in Garmish was a challenge to the whole women's field with highly technical areas that made it hard to generate enough speed to oust the competition. But, Vonn had a secret weapon to assist her in her victory.
"I think it was also an advantage to have my husband [Thomas] here because he used to race this course so many times because it's the old men's track," Vonn said. "He told me exactly where I should go fast and where the tricky sections were. I think it really helped me and gave me confidence. I knew exactly what was going to happen and I was prepared for it."
Now, while Vonn's main record-breaking focus is to get her 19th win, she also hopes to be able to come out of the season with a win in every discipline. But so far the giant slalom has eluded her.
"I'm really trying to get the GS going so I can win all the disciplines, but it's incredibly hard. To win in five disciplines is just almost impossible," Vonn said. "I'm doing everything I can. It just might take me a little while to win a GS. My best ever in GS was a fourth, so I know it's possible, but it just has to be the right day, right circumstances and two really good runs.
"Right now I'm so happy with what's going on with the other disciplines that I'm going to keep fighting and hopefully things keep going well."
Now Vonn, along with the rest of the U.S. Alpine Ski team, head to Val d'Isere, France, as the FIS World Championships kick off Tuesday and run through Feb. 15 and, according to the racer, her recent victories give her the perfect mindset for what lies ahead.
"It really boosts my self-confidence. I feel like in pretty much all events I am well prepared and my confidence is high," Vonn said. I'm going to try, and just be as physically prepared and mentally prepared for each race as I possibly can. It's going to be a really tough couple of weeks but I'm going to be as well prepared as I can be, fight really hard and hopefully it goes well."
Fans catch the World Championship action live on UniversalSports.com beginning Tuesday with the women's super G.
2009 AUDI FIS WORLD CUP
Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany - Feb. 1, 2009
Women's Super G
1. Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 1:22.16
2. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:22.55
3. Jessica Lindell-Vikarby, Sweden, 1:22.88
4. Nadia Fanchini, Italy, 1:22.90
5. Maria Riesch, Germany, 1:22.96
28. Julia Mancuso, Olympic Valley, CA, 1:24.12
43. (T) Kaylin Richardson, Edina, MN, 1:25.85
43. (T) Stacey Cook, Mammoth, CA, 1:25.85
45. Megan McJames, Park City, UT, 1:26.04
DNS: Chelsea Marshall (Pittsfield, VT)
DNF: Keely Kelleher (Big Sky, MT), Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO)
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