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Lindsey Vonn Goes Out in Style

John Rowland

Posted on February 8, 2019 14:23

1 user

Lindsey Vonn makes her final ski racing run this Sunday in Åre, Sweden, with all the elegance of a true champion.

The most successful female skier in world history, Lindsey Vonn, will participate in the women's downhill -- the final competition of her illustrious career. Following the World Championships in Åre, Sweden this weekend, Vonn will retire, claiming "I cannot continue ski racing."

Speed ski events like the downhill and super G place incredible physical demands on an athlete, which factored into Vonn's (age 34) recent decision.

But it wouldn't shock this observer if she has a change of heart down the road (and comes out of retirement), but probably not.

Also retiring after Sunday is Aksel Lund Svindal, a Norwegian skier who gave voice to having Vonn compete against the men, as it "would be great marketing for the sport."

But were this to have occurred -- media circus notwithstanding (à la Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs in tennis) -- Vonn probably would have won some races; but not to the tune of 82 World Cup victories (Vonn's win total), if done consistently.

In a gesture of absolute grace and sportsmanship (sportspersonship?), Vonn has convinced Swedish racing legend, Ingemar Stenmark (86 World Cup victories), to attend her final race on Sunday.

Vonn will wear a racing suit featuring blue and yellow (Sweden's colors) trim in honor of Stenmark and "how much he has meant to the sport."

Wow.

Can you say pure style.

This amply illustrates the heart, poise and finesse of a true champion, which Vonn is.

But back in the day, Stenmark generally hated the glare of media; he'd give 2- or 3-word answers to questions posed to him by the likes of Bob Beattie and Frank Gifford, both of whom have passed.

So props to Ingemar for coming to see Vonn.

Considering that Norway's Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will be in Åre this weekend, it will be quite a scene.

This will be truly great for the sport.

John Rowland

Posted on February 8, 2019 14:23

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Source: NBC LA

Steele Spence's steno sheet from the 2018 FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup.

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