Lindsey Vonn plans to race 3 or 4 times at World Championships
Lindsey Vonn plans to enter at least three of a possible five individual races at the World Championships in two weeks -- the downhill, super-G, giant slalom and possibly the super combined.
Vonn, 30, has won four times in eight races since December, her first competitions in nearly one year following a second major right knee surgery that forced her to miss the Sochi Olympics.
She appears a gold-medal favorite in the downhill and potentially the super-G, depending on how this weekend’s downhill and super-G in St. Moritz, Switzerland, turn out.
The World Championships are in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo., from Feb. 2-15 with record coverage on NBC, NBC Sports Network, Live Extra and Universal Sports.
Vonn hasn’t raced anything other than downhill and super-G since Jan. 26, 2013 -- no giant slalom, no slalom, no super combined.
She does expect to race giant slalom at Worlds, on top of downhill and super-G. If she does, she will almost surely be racing against a field that includes Mikaela Shiffrin for the first time since before Vonn’s crash at the February 2013 World Championships. Shiffrin is ranked third in the World Cup giant slalom standings.
Vonn, a four-time World Cup overall champion, was second in the World Cup giant slalom standings in 2012 and third in the slalom in 2009. She recently cast doubt she would ever race slalom again, a discipline in which she has not made a World Cup podium since 2009.
Vonn won a World Cup super combined every season from 2008 through 2012, and she hopes to race it at Worlds. Super combined is a mix of one downhill run and one slalom run.
She said the Worlds super combined is “a little bit up in the air” because she hasn’t skied slalom in 2 1/2 years.
Vonn said she is unlikely to race in the World Championships team event.
In 2013, Vonn raced once at the World Championships, crashing in the super-G and requiring the first of her two major knee surgeries.
In 2011, Vonn raced twice at the World Championships, winning downhill silver and placing seventh in the super-G before ending her competition due to symptoms from a pre-Worlds concussion.
In 2010, Vonn raced all five events at the Olympics, winning downhill gold and super-G bronze. She did not finish in the giant slalom, slalom and super combined.