Vail’s Vonn to race in world slalom despite thumb injury
VAIL, Colorado ” Vail’s Lindsey Vonn will compete in Saturday’s slalom at the world championships despite slicing her thumb on a broken champagne bottle and needing surgery.
She decided to race after testing out her grip during training runs on Friday. Vonn has already won two golds at the world championships.
“She’s going to go. She did three or four runs and it was actually quite good,” U.S. women’s head coach Jim Tracy said.
Vonn, of Vail, Colo., sliced her thumb when she grabbed a broken champagne bottle at a party celebrating her downhill victory on Monday. She traveled to Austria for surgery to repair a severed tendon.
She missed Thursday’s giant slalom and spent two days testing out a specially designed splint that will enable her to hold her ski pole.
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“Her and (husband) Thomas went out and tested and I watched a couple runs,” Tracy said. “She wants to race and she did what she needed to do to be ready.”
Meanwhile, teammate Julia Mancuso decided to skip the slalom to get a jump on training for World Cup races next week in Tarvisio, Italy.
Mancuso, the Olympic giant slalom champion, hasn’t won a race since capturing a downhill in Tarvisio nearly two years ago. She’ll sit out a weekend of speed races in Bansko, Bulgaria.
“She’s going to try and rework her giant slalom a little bit so she can have a good showing on Ofterschwang (Germany) and at finals,” Tracy said. “It’s a good thing. Everyone knew she’s been struggling and she was beaten down. This is a good time to start working on some things also for next season.”
The slalom will mark the return of Resi Stiegler after a 13-month injury layoff. She posted three top-10 finishes in slalom last season before crashing in giant slalom in Lienz, Austria.
She fractured her left arm, had ligament damage to her right knee and multiple bruises. Stiegler began training full-time training last month in Kirchberg, Austria.
“There’s no expectations,” Tracy said. “It just turns out that her first race back is going to be at World Championships.”
Stiegler participated in a World Cup race two weeks in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
“I’m so stoked to wear a bib that has a number on it instead of just a letter,” she said.