Lindsey Vonn wants to race against men — but will they let her?
Vonn will have the support of U.S. Skiing, but that may not be enough to persuade the FIS.
January 17, 2017
LAKE LOUISE, Alberta — Tucked in the heart of Banff National Park and surrounded by the mammoth grandeur of the Canadian Rockies, the Lake Louise ski area offers one of the world's most picturesque settings for racing. When the World Cup tour rolls into this village two hours west of Calgary for races featuring the world's best male and female downhillers, television coverage in North America and Europe showcase it as one of the continent's most stunning tourist destinations.
Vail's Lindsey Vonn would like to use that that setting for a race that could promote the sport far beyond its typical niche following, but also to pursue a dream that has long fascinated her. The most successful female World Cup racer in history wants one chance to compete against men in her best event — downhill — and she wants to do it here on a course where she has been almost unbeatable.
"I train with the men all the time and I really enjoy it," Vonn said last week in an interview with The Denver Post. "They push me to be a better skier. I always find myself skiing my best when I'm skiing against them. I talk to them, I pick their brain, I see what they're doing and I, in turn, ski faster. So I would like the opportunity to race against them and see where I stand."
She plans to sit down with U.S. Ski Team alpine director Patrick Riml soon to develop a proposal he can take to International Ski Federation meetings this spring. The idea is for her to race men in Lake Louise the last weekend of November 2018, the annual spot on the calendar for men's downhill and super-G here. The women always race here the following week.