Vonn’s ankle ‘100 percent’ ready for World Cup GS race in Aspen
AP Sports Writer
VAIL — Lindsey Vonn’s healing left ankle no longer aches or gives her any sort of discomfort whatsoever when she steps into her ski boot.
The four-time overall World Cup champion pronounced she’s “definitely 100 percent” ready for the giant slalom race in Aspen later this month.
Now, a new dilemma: finding some snow. Vonn flew back from Europe for a long weekend that included a photo shoot in New York, a friend’s wedding in Vermont and the Broncos-Packers game in Denver.
With the slopes in her hometown of Vail not open — 57 degrees Fahrenheit there Tuesday — Vonn may train at nearby Copper Mountain. Or head back to Europe. Or simply do what she’s been doing since breaking her ankle in a training crash in New Zealand nearly 12 weeks ago — working out intensely in the gym.
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Bottom line: She’s raring to race.
“I have a really good feeling about this season,” Vonn said in a phone interview. “This is going to be a really good year.”
Sitting out the season opener in Soelden, Austria, was a difficult choice for Vonn. She was on the sideline as Italy’s Federica Brignone won the giant slalom on Oct. 24, while American Mikaela Shiffrin finished runner-up. Vonn possibly could’ve given it a go, but “I was worried that if I hit a bump or something, I would have problems. I erred on the side of caution, because I’m really happy with where I am at.”
She will also sit out a slalom event in Levi, Finland, on Nov. 14. But that’s by design since she no longer competes in the slalom.
Vonn’s keeping her goals modest this season. Well, as modest as someone can after winning a women’s record 67 World Cup races over her career. Vonn simply hopes to defend her titles in the downhill and super-G disciplines.
If it so happens, chase after her fifth big crystal globe as well, which would make the 31-year-old Vonn the oldest female skier to win the overall title.
“For me, it’s just to try to continue to win races,” said Vonn, the Olympic downhill gold medal winner at the 2010 Vancouver Games who couldn’t defend her crown in Sochi because of a knee injury. “Because whenever I can focus on skiing and trying to win one race at a time, that’s when I accumulate the most amount of points. That always puts me in a good position for the overall.”
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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.