After Aksel’s Lund Svindal’s silver medal in his final competition on Saturday, the pressure for Lindsey Vonn to achieve the perfect end to her illustrious career had undoubtedly ramped up. Add this to her dramatic crash earlier in the week and Lindsey’s idol Ingemar Stenmark waiting expectantly at the finish line, and the stakes couldn’t have been higher!
Lindsey reflected on her nerves after the race “I think everyone knows my mentality by now, I always risk everything all the time, which is the reason I’ve been able to win so much and it’s also the reason why I crash so much and have had so many injuries”.
She continued “I risked it all today. I was so nervous all day and had serious anxiety. I wanted more than anything to finish strong. I didn’t want to end up like I did on Tuesday, in the fence.“
Lindsey, once again outfitted in Swedish national colours as a tribute to the home nation and Stenmark, delivered under immense pressure in the challenging conditions. The second half was exceptionally quick, and perhaps with a slightly faster start she may have battled for gold. Upon crossing the line, Vonn was overcome with joy and quickly embraced a visible happy Stenmark. Vonn’s Bronze medal finish means she becomes one of the few skiers to secure a medal a six FIS World Championships.
It was Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec who took Gold after a much-awaited return from injury. Stuhec’s run was frightfully fast and enough to secure her first place by over two-tenths of a second! Stuhec now becomes one of the only downhill skiers, men or women, to defend a World Championship Title.
Switzerland’s Corinne Suter split Vonn and Stuhec and secured her second medal of the World Championships after her bronze in the Super G earlier in the week. Once again Austria was without a medal in what is proving a slightly disappointing world championship for the Alpine giants.
The podium standings for the event were as followed:
- STUHEC Ilka (SLO) – 1:01.74
- SUTER Corinne (SUI) – 1:01.97
- VONN Lindsey (USA) – 1:02.23
The World championships continue on Monday with the Men’s Alpine Combined at 12:00 CET.