Dec 6, 2013, 4:18 PM EST
Lindsey Vonn safely made it down the mountain in her first competition in 10 months, finishing 40th out of 61 skiers at a World Cup downhill in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.
The Olympic downhill champion completed the course in 1 minute, 59.22 seconds. German Maria Hoefl-Riesch won in 1:56.03 (results at bottom).
“I was just too nervous,” Vonn said, according to The Associated Press. “I was really tight, and I skied that way. I skied tight.
“I wasn’t in a really deep tuck. I wasn’t pushing the line where I could have. And I just kind of skied it, and that’s not my style. That’s not how I attack a race.”
Vonn, 29, skied her first race since blowing out her right knee at the World Championships in February and partially tearing her right ACL on Nov. 19. The downhill was delayed by an hour due to below-zero temperatures.
“I’m always a positive thinker,” Vonn said, according to the AP. “I try to look on the bright side of everything, and I was really optimistic that I could come down and just — first race, right out of the blocks — win, and it was wishful thinking. But might as well shoot for the best, you know?”
The Lake Louise World Cup stop continues with a downhill on Saturday (2:30 p.m. ET) and a super-G on Sunday (1 p.m.). Vonn is expected to race in both. Universal Sports will have coverage.
Vonn decided to race this weekend following a training run Wednesday. She said her right knee felt “stable,” though she skipped an opportunity at taking another training run Thursday. She said she would race with a knee brace.
She’s skiing at a course nicknamed “Lake Lindsey” for her overwhelming success there. She’s won the last seven World Cup races at Lake Louise. She hasn’t finished lower than second at a Lake Louise race since 2008.
“To be honest, we didn’t expect her to win this race,” U.S. Ski Team coach Chip White said, according to the AP. “A lot of people do, just because she has so many times. But with all she’s been through, we’re just happy to see her back in the mix, and I think this is where we build from.”
The rest of the U.S. women have performed poorly in early-season speed races after putting six in the top 16 in last season’s downhill standings.
Olympic downhill silver medalist Julia Mancuso was 26th on Friday. Stacey Cook, fourth in the World Cup downhill standings last season, followed in 39th. Leanne Smith and Laurenne Ross, who made World Cup podiums last season, were 49th and 56th.
In three speed races this season, the top U.S. finish is 19th.
Lake Louise Downhill
1. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) 1:56.03
2. Maria Kaufmann-Abderhalden (SUI) 1:56.73
3. Elena Fanchini (ITA) 1:57.23
4. Anna Fenninger (AUT) 1:57.30
5. Nadja Jnglin-Kamer (SUI) 1:57.54
6. Tina Maze (SLO) 1:57.57
7. Larisa Yurkiw (CAN) 1:57.66
7. Stefanie Moser (AUT) 1:57.66
9. Carolina Ruiz Castillo (ESP) 1:57.76
10. Lara Gut (SUI) 1:57.79
21. Julia Ford (USA) 1:58.51
26. Julia Mancuso (USA) 1:58.66
32. Jacqueline Wiles (USA) 1:58.95
39. Stacey Cook (USA) 1:59.20
40. Lindsey Vonn (USA) 1:59.22
49. Leanne Smith (USA) 2:00.01
54. Katie Ryan (USA) 2:00.85
56. Laurenne Ross (USA) 2:01.00
Jan 25, 2015, 9:48 PM EST
Brown is the youngest U.S. men’s champion since 2004.
Jan 25, 2015, 7:35 PM EST
Instead, past Winter X Games champions prevailed in Aspen.
Jan 25, 2015, 3:00 PM EST
Jason Brown tries to become the youngest U.S. men’s champion since 2004.
Jan 25, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
An inside look at the skier’s comeback from two major knee surgeries.
Jan 25, 2015, 7:36 AM EST
Vonn captured victory No. 64 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Jan 24, 2015, 11:50 PM EST
Wagner becomes the oldest women’s champion since Michelle Kwan.
Jan 24, 2015, 9:15 PM EST
Kim outdueled the greatest snowboarder of all time.
Jan 24, 2015, 7:00 PM EST
Gracie Gold wants to deny history for Ashley Wagner.
Jan 24, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
Pairs free skate and free dance national titles to be awarded.
Jan 24, 2015, 6:23 AM EST
Vonn missed an opportunity to all but clinch the World Cup season downhill title.
Jan 23, 2015, 11:58 PM EST
Brown is poised to become the youngest U.S. men’s champion in 11 years.
Jan 23, 2015, 3:12 PM EST
Jacobellis has now won 13 gold medals in 18 major championships.
Jan 23, 2015, 9:54 AM EST
Olympic medalists threw out ceremonial first pitches last season.
Jan 23, 2015, 8:44 AM EST
Miller now looks ahead to the World Championships.
Jan 22, 2015, 11:57 PM EST
White had the same finish as he did in Sochi.
Jan 22, 2015, 11:44 PM EST
The free skate is live on NBC on Saturday night.
Jan 22, 2015, 2:43 PM EST
Weir and Lipinski will be based at the Super Bowl XLIX Tailgate Party.
Jan 22, 2015, 8:47 AM EST
But LeMond might be willing to talk to Armstrong.
Jan 22, 2015, 8:28 AM EST
No other U.S. Olympian from Sochi can say they’ve performed better in top competitions in the last year.
Jan 21, 2015, 5:45 PM EST
A mix of youth and experience vying for the title and three World Championships spots.
- Jason Brown wins first U.S. figure skating title 1
- Lindsey Vonn wins final race before World Championships (video) 0
- Ashley Wagner shatters records for third U.S. figure skating title 3
- Chloe Kim wins Winter X Games halfpipe at age 14 0
- Lindsey Vonn struggles in St. Moritz downhill (video) 0
- Jason Brown leads U.S. short program; quad debate stoked 1
- Bode Miller will not race Kitzbuehel downhill, hopeful for World Champs 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)