Lindsey Vonn doesn’t like her chances of racing against men at next month’s downhill in Lake Louise.
On Friday, the four-time overall World Cup champion’s plan was still awaiting backing from her U.S. ski team and, ultimately, approval by the International Ski Federation.
“From what I’ve heard, it doesn’t look good,” Vonn said.
“But I must wait.”
“The women’s races are much more important to me”
The American earlier announced she would back down on her plan if FIS does not allow her a start in two women’s races at the same course after doing the men’s downhill there a week before.
FIS has to make an exception as the rules deny skiers access to a course a week before the actual race to prevent them from having an advantage.
Vonn says she will miss two women’s races in Aspen, Colorado because they clash with the Lake Louise men’s race on the same November 24-25 weekend. She’s reluctant to skip even more events as she is chasing several records in the new World Cup season, which starts on Saturday with a giant slalom.
“The women’s races are much more important to me,” Vonn said.
“The overall World Cup, the downhill globe, these are very important to me.”
‘A dream of mine’
Her team has one week left to file a formal request with FIS, which could then decide on the matter at a November 3-4 meeting in Oberhofen, Switzerland.
Spokesman Doug Haney said the U.S. team was still contemplating the best way to support Vonn’s plan. Officials are reluctant for their biggest women’s star to miss Aspen, the only women’s World Cup in the United States.
If Vonn’s wish is denied, she will keep chasing what she calls “a dream of mine.”
“For me, that is the next level. Men race with so much strength and more pace. I want to try it one time. One time”
Last week, she revealed her ambition to race at the Streif in Kitzbuehel, one of the most challenging courses on the men’s circuit, after her retirement.
“I have discussed racing against men with my coaches and friends for years,” she said.
“For me, that is the next level. Men race with so much strength and more pace. I want to try it one time. One time.”
Even if her ambition to race against men isn’t fulfilled soon, Vonn has a World Cup season full of milestones ahead.
Vonn, who has 53 World Cup titles, is closing in on retired all-time leaders Vreni Schneider of Switzerland with 55 victories and Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria with 62.
Also, Vonn needs just three podium finishes to become the first skier from outside Europe to reach 100 and follow Moser-Proell (114), Austria’s Renate Goetschl (110) and Schneider (101).
Vonn must win at least one World Cup discipline title to overtake Moser-Proell’s best mark of 16 crystal globes. And if that one happened to be the downhill title, Vonn would become the first female skier to win the title in skiing’s fastest discipline for six straight years.