Madrid, Feb. 9 – Lindsey Vonn retires this Sunday. The descent of the Worlds of Are (Sweden) will be the last test that the American dispute, whose 82 wins does not match any other in the World Cup, a competition that won four times, in which he captured another 16 Crystal Balls and in the He was only four victories away from the historical record of the Swedish Ingemar Stenmark.
The most media skier of the last decade, Olympic champion and double world gold, retires at the station where she won her first two medals; after 19 seasons and with 137 podiums in the elite, asphyxiated by the innumerable injuries that prevented his record was even more outstanding.
IDOLATRABA A PICABO STREET, DEBUT WITH 16 YEARS
Born 34 years ago at St.Paul, in the state of Minnesota, where she began skiing, Lindsey Caroline Kildow trained athletically in Vail (Colorado). His idol was Picabo Street, Olympic champion of ‘super’ in Nagano’98 (Japan) and among his successes tells the 1996 world gold in Sierra Nevada (Granada). Lindsey debuted in the World Cup with 16, in November 2000, in the slalom of Park City (Utah, USA); and scored for the first time in the supergigante of Val d’Isere (France), which finished twenty-sixth, in December 2001.
OLYMPIC AT 17 AND AT HOME
Four times Olympic, debuted in Salt Lake City 2002 (Utah), in his own country; in Games where he played slalom and combined, proof that ended in a more than remarkable sixth position.
FIRST TRIUMPH, LIKE KILDOW, AT LAKE LOUISE, HIS TALISMAN TRACK
His first triumph in the World Cup came in December 2004, in the descent of Lake Louise (Canada), his talisman track, in which he celebrated 18 of his 82 victories. That was his second podium, after he had achieved in January of that year, to be third, in Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy), where he won twelve times.
SECONDS GAMES: HELICÓPTERO DE SAN SICARIO TO THE TURIN HOSPITAL
In 2006 he faced his second Games, those of Turin (Italy), in which he crashed spectacularly in training for the descent and was transferred by helicopter to a Turin hospital from San Sicario. Two days later, with many bruises and strong contusions, he competed; and finished eighth, receiving in his country the prize for the Olympic Gesture.
FROM LINDSEY C. KILDOW TO LINDSEY VONN
In 2007 he captured his first two medals in World Cups – two silvers, in relegation and in ‘super’, precisely in Are – and suffered his first serious problem with the anterior cruciate ligament of the right knee. That, before marrying the former skier Thomas Vonn, with whom he had coincided in the ‘US Team’ at the Salt Lake City Games; She joined the team of coaches and was divorced in 2011. Lindsey maintained her married name, with which she continued competing.
FOUR BIG CRYSTAL BALLS, EIGHT DROPS
Unique, between men and women, in scoring eight times the World Cup downhill (discipline in which no one equals its 43 wins), won sixteen small Crystal Balls: added another five supergiant and three more combined.
He won four times – the 2007-08 season, the next two; and the 2011-12- World Cup, competition that in women has only been scored more times (six) the Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll.
OLYMPIC GLORY: VANCOUVER 2010
The third time was the charm. A year after his two World titles, in relegation and in supergigante and in Garmisch (Germany), in Whistler Mountain (British Columbia) he won the Olympic gold in descent, the test reigns. In his third Games, those of Vancouver 2010 (Canada), in which he also captured bronze in the ‘super’.
2010-11: THE CUP THAT COOLED HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH MARIA RIESCH
In Europe he installed his headquarters in Garmisch-Partenkichen (Germany), station where he won his two World Golds, in 2009, so he speaks good German. During those years she was a great friend of the Bavarian Maria Riesch – she spent Christmas at home – which prevented Lindsey from winning the World Cup five times in a row.
It was the 2010-11 course, in which Riesch won the competition with only three points ahead of Vonn (1,728-1,725): in the finals of Lenzerheide (Switzerland), where the last test, the giant, was suspended due to bad weather . Controversial decision accepted by the German federation, but not the United States; and that caused the end of a friendship. That would be retaken years later, but with less intensity.
WINNER IN ALL DISCIPLINES
The first test of the course that ended his fourth final victory in the World Cup coincided, in October 2011, with his first victory in a giant, that of Sölden (Austria). That day she entered the select club of winners in each and every one of the disciplines, which also included the Austrian Petra Kronberger, the Swedish Pernilla Wiberg and Anja Paerson and the Croatian Janica Kostelic; and to which the Slovenian Tina Maze and – this season – the American Mikaela Shiffrin: her successor on the white throne would later join.
“WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO, ACCUSING ME TO SMOKE?”
With the withdrawal of the Austrian Hermann ‘Herminator’ Maier, possibly the most spectacular champion of all time, Lindsey became the most mediatic figure of alpine skiing. With great physical resemblance, in 2013 did not hesitate to put on a tight white dress and emulate the interrogation scene and the famous cross-legged Sharon Stone in ‘Basic Instinct’ (‘Basic Instinct’). It was cover of the ‘ESPN magazine’ and in the video of the ‘making of’ it did not clash when citing the famous phrase of “What are you going to do, accuse me of smoking?”.
SERIOUS INJURY IN SCHLADMING 2013 AND ABSENCE IN THE SOCHI GAMES
In 2013, Lindsey crashed in the Supergigante of the Schladming World Championships (Austria), being evacuated again by helicopter to a hospital, in which she was diagnosed with rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament and collateral middle of the right knee, as well as a fracture of the tibial plateau. He focused on recovery, with a view to the Games of Sochi’14 (Russia); and, despite being out of combat the last month and a half of competition, his advantage was so wide that he won the World Cup downhill. For a single point.
He fell from his injury at the end of 2013, in France; and he had to give up the Olympic Games, to which he was as a commentator.
BEAT THE RECORD OF MOSER-PRÖLL IN THE PRESENCE OF TIGER WOODS
Valid for 35 years, Vonn equaled and exceeded, in two consecutive days and in Cortina (Italy), the historic record of World Cup victories (62) of the legendary Moser-Pröll, on the no less mythical track ‘Tofana’. He did it in January 2015 and in the presence of another superstar, his compatriot Tiger Woods, with whom he left then (Lindsey was the first ‘serious’ relationship that was known to the golfer after his divorce from the Swedish model Elin Nordegren).
HE WANTED TO COMPETE AGAINST MEN IN DESCENT
43 times triumphant in descent, a test in which he climbed no less than 66 times to the podium and in which he competed with men’s skis (longer, around 2.10 meters); Vonn tried, unsuccessfully, to measure themselves in that discipline. An idea that discarded the FIS (International Ski Federation) and that had the rejection of some, including the Austrian Hannes Reichelt; and the support of others, such as his fellow brand (Head) and Norwegian friends Kjetil Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal. The latter will also retire after these World Cups.
“REPRESENT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, NOT THE PRESIDENT (TRUMP)”
He prepared himself thoroughly for a swan song of the sports swan at the PyeongChang 2018 Games in South Korea. And it was the center of another controversy in his country, when affirming that, in case of winning a gold, it would not go to the presidential reception in the White House; in clear opposition to his tenant, Donald Trump. She justified herself by stating that she represents “the American people and not their president.”
IT CAME TO THE KOREAN GAMES TO “WIN IN HONOR” TO YOUR GRANDFATHER
As the great star that she is, she introduced herself as an authentic ‘prima donna’ in her massive press conference as soon as she arrived in PyeongChang – in which she appeared with gloves and with her dog Lucy. An appearance that ended in tears saying that he wanted to “win in honor” his grandfather Don, a veteran of the Korean War who had instilled in him his love for skiing; died three months before the Games and whose ashes poured into the Olympic zone after winning the bronze in the descent: a loot that seemed small.
HE APPOINTED STENMARK RECORD, BUT HIS KNEES SAID ‘ENOUGH’
Before the opening of this World Cup, Lindsey made it clear in Sölden, who would retire at the end of this season, aiming at the historical record of victories in the World Cup of the great Stenmark (86). But by delaying his return to the tracks and getting lost – due to a new injury – the tests of Lake Louise (Canada), his’ living room ‘, he even considered disputing, as a farewell, next season’s tests in his’ talisman station. ‘ The reality made her change her mind and she will not even reach the end of it: her knees, especially the right one, can no longer bear.
It did not improve the record of the Swede, which, however, exceeds in World Cups: Stenmark won 19, but nobody equals the 20 of Vonn.
ABDISH AND LEAVE HEIR
Vonn leaves successor: his compatriot Mikaela Shiffrin, who with 23 years has won everything that can be won in alpine skiing. With Shiffrin – the world’s two-time Olympic and quadruple champion, steadily advancing towards his third World Cup, in which he has 56 triumphs – he already staged the transfer of powers in Cortina, where, after being fifteenth and ninth in the declines, he did not finish the supergiant, who won the recycled prodigy girl in record-breaking.
Lindsey left Italy in tears and, after skipping the Garmisch events, announced Friday that she would compete for the last time at Are. Where she finally gave up the baton: her “basic instinct” drove her to risk more than she was worth and she crashed in the ‘super’, which the champion of Vail (Colorado) won.
Nobility obliges. Shiffrin will be reserved for the giant and in the slalom – a discipline in which his fourth consecutive title could be scored – and he will not compete in the descent: whatever happens, all the spotlights will center this Sunday, again, on the great Lindsey.