The most successful female Alpine skier in history, the greatest America has produced, barreled out of the gate and threw herself downhill for one last time and made sure her farewell race was in keeping with her golden career: historic, dramatic and filled with emotion.
The end was not triumphant, but it didn’t have to be. Lindsey Vonn already had her place in history.
Yet with bronze on the Swedish slopes where she won her first championship medals, Vonn added polish to her concluding chapter as an elite athlete — becoming the oldest woman to secure a medal at a world championships, only the fourth skier to win a medal at six world championships and equaling Christel Cranz and Annemarie Moser-Proll record of five women’s downhill medals at world championships.
Going out of the gate third, the American set the early pace and Vonn looked on in disbelief near the finish line as racers tried and failed to surpass her time.
Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia had failed and it wasn’t until defending champion Ilka Stuhec went down in ninth that dreams of gold were ruined. The Slovenian’s time of 1:01.74 ensured she became the first skier to successfully defend the women’s downhill since Maria Walliser in 1987 and 1989, while Switzerland’s Corrinne Suter followed to deny Vonn silver.
More to follow…