Vonn looks to new season with fewer bumps in her way

  • Article by: PAT GRAHAM , A ssociated Press
  • Updated: September 14, 2012 - 11:16 PM

 She won the World Cup while battling physical and personal issues. This year, she has fresh confidence.

Lindsey Vonn is in a good place heading into the World Cup season -- a "really happy place" as she's fond of calling it.

Just a year ago, the Burnsville native's personal life was turned upside down when she separated from her husband of four years.

Since then, the U.S. skier has put the split behind her and rekindled relationships with teammates. She's also feeling as strong as ever after taking a different training approach this offseason to save wear and tear on her balky left knee.

And sure, defending her overall title this season remains at the top of her to-do list. So is this: eclipsing the 2,000-point plateau after finishing just 20 away last season. She would like nothing more than to join Austrian great Hermann Maier as the only skiers to attain that lofty mark.

"I want to try to improve on what I did last year," Vonn said in an interview from Portillo, Chile, where she's training with the U.S. squad. "That may not be possible. But that's what I'm going to try and do."

In the midst of her personal strife last season, Vonn found solace in the one place that's always been her sanctuary -- the slopes. Once she clicked into her skis, Vonn was all business as she captured 12 World Cup races, putting her within striking distance of becoming the all-time winningest female skier. She has 53 career victories, trailing only Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria (62) and Vreni Schneider of Switzerland (55).

"She has raised the bar as to what is capable for a female ski racer," women's speed coach Chip White said. "The scary thing now is she is showing no signs of slowing down."

What helped last season was having family and friends constantly around, taking her mind off any problems away from the race course.

"Life is very, very different for me right now," said Vonn, a four-time World Cup overall winner from Vail, Colo. "But I am in a really happy place. This is a new chapter. I'm ready for it."

She wasn't ready for this: intense tabloid speculation.

Vonn is used to making headlines for victories, not over whom she may be dating.

By Vonn's standards, this summer was a low-key break from the snow. There were no trips down the red carpet or guest appearances on "Law & Order."

Instead, she traipsed through Europe with her sisters, culminating with a visit to the luxurious beaches in the southern French resort town of Saint Tropez, attended a Rascal Flatts concert in North Carolina and ventured over to London for the Olympics.

Being there made her antsy for the 2014 Sochi Games.

"I was wondering why I wasn't competing," said Vonn, who captured the Olympic downhill gold medal in Vancouver. "I'm ready to race."

Soon, she will step back into the starting gate. In just a month, the World Cup season begins with a giant slalom competition in Soelden, Austria.

She's confident her knees will hold up.

This offseason, Vonn altered her training routine, spending less time running and more time on the bike. She also lifted more weights and went through more agility drills.

Vonn's eager to charge after another title. It won't be easy, though, with good friend and rival Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany always in the mix, along with Tina Maze of Slovenia and, of course, American teammate Julia Mancuso.

The first order of business for Vonn over the offseason -- for most skiers, really -- was getting used to new giant slalom skis. To make the discipline safer, the International Ski Federation altered the hourglass shape of the skis, and the rules go into effect this season.

"My goal is to try to win races, try to minimize the mistakes, try to be as smart as I can with every single race," Vonn said. "Yeah, 2,000 points would be great. But I don't know if it's something I should focus on. If it happens, it will happen."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
Miami 7
Toronto 74 3rd Qtr 3:34
Philadelphia 68
Golden State 51 3rd Qtr
Brooklyn 57
Phoenix 39 2nd Qtr 3:58
Miami 46
LA Clippers 36 2nd Qtr 10:25
Minnesota 29
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Nashville 1 2nd Prd :13
NY Rangers 2
Carolina 0 1st Prd 19:51
Chicago 0
Montreal 9:00 PM
San Jose
Virginia 51 2nd Half 5:45
Syracuse 38
Baylor 50 2nd Half 5:22
Texas 43
SE Louisiana 38 2nd Half 16:52
Northwestern St 51
Central Arkansas 26 2nd Half 19:45
Sam Houston St 33
Norfolk State 16 1st Half 7:56
Howard 13
Bethune-Cookman 24 2nd Half
NC A&T 30
Hampton 31 1st Half 5:49
Delaware State 33
Lamar 30 1st Half 4:12
McNeese State 29
Nicholls 24 1st Half 4:51
New Orleans 17
Incarnate Word 24 1st Half 1:30
Stephen F Austin 31
NC Central 0 1st Half 20:00
Savannah State 0
Texas Southern 7:55 PM
Alabama A&M
Prairie View 8:00 PM
Alabama State
Oklahoma 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Grambling St 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Boston College 8:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Jackson State 8:10 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 60 2nd Half 3:55
Ark-Pine Bluff 65
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
Tulsa 67 2nd Half 1:51
Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 78 2nd Half 3:30
South Florida 55
UCF 47 2nd Half 4:20
East Carolina 65
Central Conn St 41 2nd Half 5:01
Bryant 52
Wagner 57 2nd Half 3:51
Robert Morris 56
Sacred Heart 70 2nd Half 0:30
Fairleigh Dickinson 78
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Long Island 49
Mount St Marys 72 2nd Half 7:47
St Francis-PA 71
Temple 16 1st Half 5:01
Houston 12
Texas Tech 15 1st Half 6:56
(6) Baylor 28
Iowa State 20 1st Half 3:40
Kansas 28
SMU 24 1st Half 2:54
Memphis 19
Oklahoma 12 1st Half 5:30
Oklahoma St 12


question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the hockey season?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters