Vonn ties U.S. women’s record for medals
The Denver Post/AP
VAL D’ISERE, France ” Vail Ski Club product Lindsey Vonn made history again Monday, winning a gold medal in downhill at the world alpine ski championships at Val d’Isere, France, giving her a sweep of the “speed” events there.
Vonn won a super G gold medal last Tuesday, and her victory Monday made her the first U.S. woman to win two gold medals at a world championships. It also tied her with 1980’s standout Tamara McKinney for most career medals won at world championships (four).
Vonn was disqualified from Friday’s combined event for inadvertently missing a gate, depriving her of an apparent silver medal, and had to wait an extra day to make amends after Sunday’s scheduled downhill had to be postponed a day because of weather.
But she was in command Monday, winning by .52 of a second ” a fairly substantial margin in downhill ” on an extremely steep and technical course. Lara Gut of Switzerland claimed the silver medal while Nadia Fanchini of Italy took bronze.
By almost any objective measurement, Vonn is in the process of becoming the most accomplished female skier racer the U.S. has produced. She is on pace to win her second consecutive World Cup overall title, something no American woman has done, and figures to win more world championships medals. She lacks only Olympic medals to fill the only void in her record, something she can do a year from now at the Vancouver Winter Games.
Bode Miller is the only other American to win two gold medals at a world championships, winning the combined and giant slalom in 2003, then super G and downhill in 2005.
Technically speaking, Vonn is the second U.S. woman to win two world championships gold medals. Andrea Mead Lawrence won two gold medals at the 1952 Oslo Olympics at a time when the International Ski Federation awarded dual world championships medals for Olympic races. That practice ended after the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.
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