Jan 19, 2013, 4:46 PM EST
Lindsey Vonn won her first downhill race of the new year in Italy Saturday, and her first race of any kind in more than five weeks, beating World Cup points leader Tina Maze by roughly a half-second.
“I’m excited to be racing and I have that fire again and I trust that my body is strong enough to ski the way I want to ski,” Vonn told the AP. “It wasn’t always the case in all the races this year. I’m back to my old self and it’s a good feeling.”
After a three-week break, and another skipped race following her return, Vonn finished in 1:38.25. Maze finished 0.43 behind and American Leanne Smith finished third for her second podium of the season.
“When I decided to take the break, I was so weak,” added Vonn. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to build enough strength back up in that short time to be able to race… I finally feel like myself again. I feel healthy, finally, and I’m able to ski the way I want to. It’s good to be back on top.”
Vonn is back on the mountain Sunday competing in a super-G race in Cortina. The four time world champ has won this particular race each of the last three years, so hopes are high.
Enjoy her performance here:
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Vonn “looked in pain and limped,” according to The Associated Press.
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