Another day of skiing, another crystal globe for Lindsey Vonn.
And she’s expecting more.
“I foresee next year as hopefully even better,” said the 30-year-old American, who claimed the season-long super-G title at the World Cup finals on Thursday, two years after a career-threatening knee injury.
“It’s going to be fun to have a normal preparation. I only got about five days of downhill training and about 20 days of ski training. I had a lot of races this season where I wasn’t that confident, in some situations I lacked the training.”
Vonn won the final super-G of the season on Thursday and with it her 19th crystal globe trophy – equaling the record of Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark. She beat Anna Fenninger of Austria and Tina Maze of Slovenia in Thursday’s race to claim the discipline title, one day after winning the downhill title.
Her seven career downhill titles and 67 race wins are women’s records in Alpine skiing.
“Even though I have 19, these two are probably the most special of all of them,” Vonn said. “Pretty much everyone didn’t think I would be back. For myself, for everyone who doubted me, this is a pretty good answer.”
Vonn held a slender eight-point lead over Fenninger coming into the race, and was under pressure after the world super-G champion posted the fastest time. Vonn was only .01 second ahead at the first time split but finished .49 clear of Fenninger.
In the race for the overall World Cup title, defending champion Fenninger is 32 points ahead of Maze, who finished third. The overall title will be decided in the weekend’s slalom and giant slalom races.
After crossing the line in the super-G, Vonn turned around quickly to check her time. She knew it was good, but the half-second margin seemed to surprise even her.
With her hands stretched out, she lay on her back for several moments, savoring the moment as fans cheered her on at the bottom of the Roc de Fer course.
Earlier this season, Vonn overtook Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell’s 35-year-old record of 62 race wins – quite an achievement after her serious injury.
Vonn blew out her right knee in a super-G at the 2013 world championships in Schladming, Austria, and then hurt the same knee again in her comeback, keeping her out of last year’s Sochi Olympics.
She went nearly two years without a victory before winning a downhill in Lake Louise, Canada, in December.
In the men’s super-G, Dustin Cook posted his first World Cup win while Kjetil Jansrud took second and gained some ground on Marcel Hirscher in the contest for the men’s overall title.
Cook, a 26-year-old Canadian, won the race by .05 seconds. Roger Brice of France was third.
Jansrud has already won the season-long super-G title, and the 29-year-old Norwegian also took the downhill title on Wednesday.
Hirscher, a slalom specialist, finished fourth for his second-best result in super-G and still leads the overall standings by 34 points with the slalom and giant slalom races still to come.
Cook won silver in the super-G last month at the world championships, and had earned a first World Cup podium with a third-place finish in the discipline two weeks ago in Kvitfjell.
He had never placed higher than 12th prior to this season, and said he had contemplated retirement.
“I had a good, long talk with one of my friends from home, and he was like `Dude, don’t even question it, just keep going,'” Cook said. “I talked to him about it recently and said, `Remember that conversation we had?’ and he said, `Yeah, thank God you listened to me.'”
SOURCE: The Associated Press