A disappointing end to Lindsey Vonn's Olympic run: After skiing off course in Thursday's GS race -- and arguably derailing teammate Julia Mancuso's defense of her 2006 gold -- Vonn straddled a gate just 16 seconds into today's slalom race and failed to finish. It was the final women's alpine event of the 2010 Games, and it seemed as if Vonn was happy to see it all end.
Maria Riesch of Germany, who failed to medal in yesterday's Olympic women’s downhill, came out on top in the super-combined today, while her friend and greatest rival, Lindsey Vonn, didn’t even finish.
Maria Riesch of Germany, who failed to medal in yesterday's Olympic women’s downhill, came out on top in the super-combined today, while her friend and greatest rival, Lindsey Vonn, didn’t even finish. Vonn fell in the slalom portion of the race after hooking a ski on a gate, adding further insult to an already injured Olympics: Vonn has been complaining about her bruised shin all week.
Downhill–with its autobahn speeds and spectacular crashes—may be the mountain's riskiest event, but the turny, precise technical courses demand a level of exactitude unmatched in the Winter Olympic arena.
Giant Slalom The Austrians—perennially dominant across the alpine field—prize the GS above all and consider it to be the skier’s event. It requires deft precision and measured abandon, making it, arguably, the most challenging discipline to master. Thank goodness for malleable polycarbonate gate poles, which give a little when racers hit them. Even at relatively slow GS speeds, forces can exceed 75 gs—roughly equivalent to a full-speed helmet-to-helmet collision in football—as racers brush gates aside with their forearms and shoulders.
Vail’s Sarah Schleper continues to look like she means business in the lead-up to what certainly will be her last Olympics, while Lindsey Vonn, feeling better about her injured hand, straddled and skied out midway through the first run in Tuesday’s World Cup slalom, held under the lights at Flachau. Marlies Schild of Austria edged Maria Riesch of Germany for the win, but Vonn remains in the overall points lead by 112 points.
Leanne Smith (Conway, NH), who was 23rd in her World Cup debut one day earlier, raced into her first top-20 Sunday, finishing 19th in a super G. Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) led U.S. women in 11th place while Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) crashed on the upper section of the run.