After collecting gold in the 2009 FIS World Championship super G last week, Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) stormed to another win in Monday’s weather-delayed downhill at Val d’Isere and was crowned the official queen of speed.
Vonn clocked a 1:30.31 on the steep and technical course, while Swiss teen Lara Gut was second, .52 seconds behind. It was the first U.S. women’s downhill title since Hilary Lindh won in 1997.
The super-G and her downhill victory means Vonn joins Anja Paerson and Swiss skier Maria Walliser as the only women to sweep the speed races at a world championship. She’s easily surpassed compatriots Picabo Street and Tamara McKinney in terms of World Cup wins and world titles and can rightfully claim to be the most successful American female skier of all time.
The downside to the win? Vonn sliced her thumb open on a broken champagne bottle while celebrating her downhill victory. She had to leave the world championships today to have her stitched up right thumb checked by a specialist.
“I really think I’m safer skiing downhill at 85 mph,” Vonn said Monday. “I’m in a little bit of pain, but this shouldn’t slow me down.”
One by one, Lindsey Vonn is ticking off items on a career redefining the standard of greatness for all future U.S. Alpine skiers. The final big prize on that list won’t be available until next year in Vancouver, Canada, when Vonn hopes to check off Olympic gold.