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Vonn Fights To Finish Ninth in Cortina Downhill

By Tom Horrocks
January, 19 2019

Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) continued to fight through the pain and build upon her return to top form, finishing ninth in her second FIS Ski World Cup downhill of the season in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, Saturday.

“I think it was still an improvement, but not what I’m looking for,” said Vonn, who improved upon her 15th-place result from Friday in her first race of the season since suffering a knee injury in November while training at Copper Mountain, Colorado. “It’s just hard sometimes when it’s bumpy to trust my right leg, and I still have a lot of pain, so I’m fighting through it the best I can, but I just have to find a faster way through it.”

Austria took the top two spots in Saturday’s downhill with Ramona Siebenhofer winning for the second-straight day and Nicole Schmidhofer in second. Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec was third. Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.) and Alice Merryweather (Hingham, Mass.) were 20th and 30th respectively.

Vonn displayed flashes of brilliance on the Olympia delle Tofane course where she has 12 career World Cup victories but admitted that the bumpy track and lack of speed training were challenging and forced her to push through the pain.

“In the middle section where it’s really wavy, it’s hard for me to trust myself, and trust my skiing,” she said. “I haven’t skied downhill since November, so it was a bit of a stretch to just come back and just jump right into the podium.

“It definitely hurts every time I push on my leg,” she continued. “It is what it is, and I’ll take it as a step in the right direction and tomorrow is another chance.

Sunday is indeed another chance as the women race super-G in Cortina, where Vonn has six career World Cup super-G victories. Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.), the current World Cup super-G leader, is also expected to start Sunday. In just her fourth career super-G start and first down the Olympia delle Tofane track in 2017, Shiffrin was fourth - a mere .03 off the podium. 

“I was hoping to come back and get a win here in my final season, but I still have a chance tomorrow,” Vonn said. “I have to stay positive and keep fighting. I’m still enjoying it. I love being in the start gate. I love feeling the adrenaline and going fast. It’s just not as fast as I had hoped.”

Women’s downhill

All times EST
*Same-day delayed broadcast
**Next-day broadcast

Sunday, Jan. 20
4:15 a.m. - Men’s slalom run 1 - Wengen, SUI - & NBC Sports Gold
5:00 a.m. - Women’s super-G - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - Olympic Channel-TV, & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. - Men’s slalom run 2 - Wengen, SUI - Olympic Channel-TV, & NBC Sports Gold
7:00 p.m. - Men’s downhill - Wengen, SUI - NBCSN**
8:00 p.m. - Women’s downhill - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - NBCSN**
9:00 p.m. - Women’s super-G - Cortina d’Ampezzo, ITA - NBCSN*

All streams are available via desktop (, as well as mobile, tablet and connected television platforms. The NBC Sports app, NBC Sports Gold app and Olympic Channel app are available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Exclusive commercial-free coverage will be available for subscribers of the NBC Sports Gold Pass.