Please stop obsessing about Lindsey Vonn’s social life
November 26, 2016
Google Lindsey Vonn.
I was Googling Vonn with the hopes of finding out if she will be racing next weekend up in Lake Louise, Alberta, next week after she broke her right arm at Copper earlier this month.
The big news is that Vonn has a new boyfriend. Stop the presses.
I get that she's smoking hot. I'm not a prude. But why are we infatuated with her sex life?
When we had a reverse Val d'Isere, France, situation here in 2011 — they didn't have snow there, so those races got moved to Beaver Creek, as opposed to this year with Birds of Prey — Vonn raced, won and did the Tim Tebow kneel. Everyone assumed she and Tebow were an item.
Then came Tiger Woods. Of course, this made for a celebrity couple — the best golfer of his generation with the best alpine skier of her generation. (We'll return to this topic shortly.)
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But the media's obsession with Tiger-Lindsey got silly to the point when Woods showed up here for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and Woods was on the big screen at Red Tail just as much as Vonn was.
When Julia Mancuso and Aksel Lund Svindal were a couple that was newsworthy as both were elite racers. Svindal still is. I'm not so sure about Mancuso now.
No one asks the men about wives/girlfriends. We only found out that Ted Ligety got hitched when his brother-in-law slipped into the post-giant-slalom news conference at 2015 Worlds. The brother-in-law asked how married life was treating him as a gag.
Perhaps, we, as a society, have a double standard when it comes to male and female athletes?
Vonn is not only the best skier of her generation, but likely of all time. She's going to reel in Ingemar Stenmark for all-time World Cup wins — she's at 76 and the Swede finished with 86.
That is the news, not that she is dating an assistant coach from the Los Angeles Rams.
And I still wouldn't be surprised to see Vonn give it a go at Lake Louise next weekend. Tape the pole to her right arm, and let's go, Lindsey.
We would normally be gearing up for Birds of Prey weekend and previewing the U.S. Ski Team's men, so here we go.
When last we saw Bode Miller, he was wiping out at the 2015 Championships. He tore his hamstring tendon, and that appeared to be the last of him.
However, he's still on the A-team, and Miller's been working out.
The first rule of covering Bode Miller is never rule him out. Yes, he's 39. Yes, he missed all of last season. Yes, he's a father for the fourth time.
He was done after the 2006 Olympics, remember? He won the 2008 World Cup title and won medals in at the 2010 and 2014 games.
Heck, in 2013, he finished second in a giant slalom at Birds of Prey behind Ted Ligety. Talk about turning back the clock.
Yes, it would be surprising to see a 39-year-old come back to podium or win, but if anyone can, well, it's Bode.
Pop quiz: Who was the top American downhiller last year?
Steve Nyman, not Travis Ganong. Nyman had a slow start to 2015-'16 with the obligatory top 10 in Val Gardena, Italy — his three career wins are there — and then had a big February and March with four podiums.
Perhaps, Nyman, 34, is a bit of a model for Ganong. Downhillers, as long as they stay healthy, a problem throughout Nyman's career, get better with age. Nyman, knock wood, has been healthy the last few years, and all the experience he's accumulated skiing on the tour is bearing fruit.
Ganong, 28, seemed to be on his way to become America's next great downhiller during the 2014-'15 season, which his first World Cup win and a silver here at Worlds.
Last year was a step back for him. It happens. I still see big things for Ganong.
Meanwhile, Andrew Weibrecht had his best season to date, finishing eighth in the super-G rankings. After two medals in the Olympics, the "War Horse" finally got his first two World Cup podiums, so he doesn't have to answer that question anymore. Weibrecht seems older to local skiing fans because he had his miracle downhill run from the back of the pack to 10th at Birds of Prey in 2007. He's 30 and has plenty of time to make an impact.
The injury bug finally caught Ted Ligety last year with an ACL injury. (As always, if you don't get hurt, you really aren't trying.)
Not only is Ligety coming back from injury, but it's important to remember that he wasn't skiing very well last year. Ligety did win the opening Soelden, Austria, GS and then was a shocking DNF at Birds of Prey. He didn't make the flip the next week in Val d'Isere, and was fourth, not a good finish for him, at Alta Badia, Italy.
He was fifth at Soelden, which is fine for the first time back from injury, but France's Alexis Pinturault and Austria's Marcel Hirscher appear to be the men to beat in GS. (By the way, no one's stopping Hirscher as he pursues his sixth straight overall title.)
At 32, this is a critical season for Ted.
And, yes …
It does not escape notice that Mikaela Shiffrin was fifth in Saturday's GS in Killington, Vermont. She described that performance on Twitter as "not terrible, not excellent, just … solid."
Second (Soelden) and fifth are a good start to Shiffrin's GS season. She's in second in the points in that discipline behind Tessa Worley, Saturday's winner. Switzerland's Lara Gut should be in the GS mix. Austria's Eva-Maria Brem, the defending GS champ, will not as she is injured and out for the year.
In the meantime, Mikaela, go win the slalom today.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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