After a day’s rest, Vail’s Vonn aims for gold again
AP Sports Writer
WHISTLER, British Columbia – Vail’s Lindsey Vonn is hoping a complete day off will help her to bounce back and win another Olympic gold medal on Saturday in the super-G.
After opening her Vancouver Games by winning gold in the marquee downhill race Wednesday, Vonn hooked a tip and fell over in the slalom leg of the super-combined Thursday.
While other competitors were out testing the super-G course Friday, Vonn was at home baking banana bread and resting her bruised right shin.
“The day off definitely helped her shin,” said Thomas Vonn, her husband and chief advisor. “It’s one of those injuries that hurts a lot but it’s not really affecting her skiing a whole lot. We’re lucky with that.”
Vonn is hoping to match her sweep of the speed events at last season’s world championships in Val d’Isere, France. She also won the last three World Cup super-G’s.
Super-combined gold medalist Maria Riesch, meanwhile, has struggled in super-G this season – failing to crack the top 10 in her previous five races.
Anja Paerson, who won the super-G when the world championships were held in her native Sweden in 2007, remains a major contender. Vonn’s American teammate Julia Mancuso is aiming for her third medal in three races.
Mancuso entered these games with hardly any expectations but won silver medals in the opening two events.
She won the giant slalom at the 2006 Turin Games but had gone two years without posting a podium finish.
“I have more of a no-holding-back attitude, because I already have my two medals, and really more will be a bonus,” Mancuso said. “I want to let everything out.”
Mancuso finished third in the super-G portion of a super-combined in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in the final World Cup stop before the games. Her best finish in an actual super-G race this season was 10th in Haus im Ennstal, Austria, on Jan. 10.
“I had that good result in the combined part of St. Moritz, so I know it’s there,” Mancuso said. “And everything is clicking together, so I’m looking forward to the race.”
Mancuso is 20th in this season’s World Cup super-G standings, which have Vonn, Fabienne Suter of Switzerland and Andrea Fischbacher of Austria in the top three rankings.
Elisabeth Goergl of Austria won the season’s opening super-G and took bronze behind Vonn and Mancuso in the Olympic downhill race.
Mancuso took advantage of free skiing on the race hill Friday.
“The snow is really hard still and training has been good. I have a lot of confidence,” she said. “It’s a tough course, so it will favor the skiers that are better technically.”
AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed to this report.
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