Lindsey Vonn revives request to race in men’s World Cup downhill
GENEVA (AP) — Lindsey Vonn’s request to race against men in a World Cup downhill will be studied again by the International Ski Federation (FIS) next week.
The United States team will make the formal proposal at pre-season meetings hosted by FIS in Zurich, the governing body said on Wednesday.
The revived plan is expected to involve a race at Lake Louise, Canada, in the 2018-19 season.
In 2012, FIS rejected a previous request on behalf of Alpine skiing great Vonn because its rules bar mixed gender races.
“Further details are still unknown, but this is certainly an anticipated topic that divides the FIS officials,” the governing body said on Wednesday.
Vonn, who turns 33 next month, has a longstanding ambition to race competitively against men before she retires.
Of her record 39 World Cup downhill wins, 14 have been at Lake Louise where the men typically race in late-November, one week before the women.
“All the men say, ‘We don’t think she’s going to beat us,’ which is what they’re going to say, and also that, ‘It will be great for our sport,’” Vonn told The Associated Press in April. “So, what’s the harm?”
The subject will go first to meetings of the FIS Alpine skiing executive board which start next Tuesday, and could be resolved by a broader Alpine committee which meets on Friday next week.
In a rare direct comparison of men’s and women’s World Cup downhills in March 2014, the final races of the season were run back-to-back on the same course setting at Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Vonn had suffered a season-ending injury and did not start. The men’s winning time of Austrian Matthias Mayer was 2.32 seconds faster than Lara Gut of Switzerland, who won her race two hours later.
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