Monday, 21 January, 2019

Mikaela Shiffrin vs. Lindsey Vonn: Alpine Combined Provides a Rare Showdown

Mikaela Shiffrin waits for her training run in the women’s downhill event at the Pyeong Chang Mikaela Shiffrin waits for her training run in the women’s downhill event at the Pyeong Chang
Kristopher Love | 22 February, 2018, 05:55

The American great became the oldest female alpine skier at 33 to make the Winter Olympics podium when she finished third in Wednesday's downhill race, with Sophia Goggia taking gold.

Watching at the bottom of the hill, Kildow broke into wry grin moments after Vonn crossed the finish line.09 seconds behind Italy's Sofia Goggia, who won the gold.

Her sportswomanship is admirable - and so is her self awareness.

Nevertheless, Vonn added a third Olympic medal to her trophy cabinet and will be hoping to go one better in the combined.

Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel must also be considered a strong contender after showing her versatility with silvers in both the giant slalom and downhill, while Lindsey Vonn could challenge if she can muster up a decent enough time in the slalom.

She wrote her grandfather's initials, "D.K." and a heart on her helmet during competition. "I wanted to win so much because of him", she said.

The American four-times overall World Cup champion still looked destined for a silver medal until flying Viking Mowinckel, who has never graced the podium in a World Cup downhill, threw caution to the wind to claim a surprise silver. "I'm proud to come away with a medal".

She pushed through pain. It's a combination of two of these events: downhill and slalom.

"I think the players that were here did a phenomenal job", coach and former National Hockey League player Tony Granato said.

"It's been really hard for me not to get emotional for so many reasons, especially because of my grandfather", she said. "I'm so proud to have competed with such wonderful girls".

"Thank you to everyone who supported me and helped me get to this point. Most of us have been injured pretty severely, so I'm really happy and proud to have been competing with them, and to have their support". "And she had a wonderful career - and she is still 'having, ' because it's not over". Vonn even gave Goggia advice over coffee in Colorado a few months ago.

Vonn fought back a stream of tears as she recalled the work she put into her comeback in order to reach the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

She listens to her body.

Vonn is one of the most accomplished racers in Alpine history, but her body simply can not take the racing punishment much longer. It was tough to contemplate this being my last Olympic downhill. "I struggled to try to keep the emotions together, but I left it all on the mountain like I said I would". I have so much fun. "I really want to keep racing forever, but I can't". "My body just probably can't take another four years", she said. "I'm proud to have given it my all". Vonn has 81 of them, more than any woman in history. Don't count her out at Pyeongchang just yet. Scheduled for Thursday, the event includes two races, the downhill and slalom - the same disciplines in which these two talented American skiers have previously won gold medals. "It was not my best, but it was OK", she said.