Vonn returns to U.S. for short vacation
SESTRIERE, Italy Lindsey Vonn is heading home for a midseason vacation with five trophies in her suitcase and tied for the overall lead in the World Cup standings.The American skier is skipping Friday’s slalom in Zagreb, Croatia, to spend time at her home in Park City, Utah, with her husband Thomas. The couple was married in September.”I haven’t gone home in the season in like four years,” Vonn said after finishing 16th in Sunday’s super-G at this Italian resort, which hosted the alpine events at the 2006 Turin Olympics. “I don’t know how I’m going to get into my home because there’s so much snow in my driveway, but I’m excited.”After Zagreb, the next races on the World Cup schedule are in Vancouver, British Columbia, where skiers will test the course for the 2010 Olympics for the first time.”I’m going to Whistler on Sunday so I’ll have a good five or six days (at home),” Vonn said. “I’m psyched.”Vonn and defending champion Nicole Hosp of Austria share the lead with 983 points each. No American woman has won the overall title since Tamara McKinney in 1983.Vonn said she wasn’t worried about missing potential points in Zagreb.”I’m outside of the top 30 in slalom now so I have to start 31, and the likelihood of me scoring big points from that start number is pretty unlikely,” she said. “It worked out well to go home and I think it’s going to pay off in the end because I’m going to be more fresh and ready to go for the speed races. There is pretty much no rest from Whistler on out.”The overall is going to come down to the last week.”Five speed races and six tech events remain.The top priority for Vonn at home will be rest.”I’m also going to do a lot of laundry, get organized, and take some of my trophies home,” she said.Besides the trophies from four downhills and one super-combi Vonn also has six oversized bottles of champagne she wants to bring home.”The champagne is the hardest, I don’t know how I’m going to get that home,” she said.Vonn’s downhill victory Saturday tied her with childhood idol Picabo Street and Daron Rahlves for the most downhill wins by an American racer at nine each.She was hindered Sunday by a headwind that picked up just before she skied.”Maybe it was a combination of slow skis and wind, but either way I was really slow, and I didn’t make any mistakes,” Vonn said. “I couldn’t have done anything better, so I have to be happy with my result.”Andrea Fischbacher and Fabienne Suter shared victory in the super-G, with both racers claiming their first World Cup wins.Germany’s Maria Riesch finished third to maintain her lead in the super-G standings.The top American finisher was Julia Mancuso, who finished eighth. Mancuso’s pace was faster than the winners through the first interval but she lost time on the bottom as the course shifted over to the other face of the Banchetta mountain and into the wind.Mancuso, the Olympic giant slalom champion, is also skipping Zagreb and heading home.”I’m looking forward to getting some rest,” said the Californian, who is winless this season after four wins last year.Mancuso has blamed some of her difficulties on equipment, but her ski man Andrea Vianello said the problems lie elsewhere.”It’s a difficult moment. We’re working on it,” Vianello said. “But it’s not the skis, because Vonn is winning with the same skis. Every now and then you have to adjust your head.”
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.